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Chief Minister fund: Rs 23 cr spent on COVID-19, Rs 55 cr on migrant fare

The Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund in Maharashtra received Rs 342 crore in donations till around mid-May, of which Rs 23.82 crore had been spent on controlling the virus’s spread while Rs 55.20 crore went towards facilitating the journey of migrant workers to their home states, an RTI query has revealed.

The Chief Minister fund had received Rs 342 crore in its dedicated account till May 18, but the state government has spent only Rs 23.82 crore so far to control the virus, the query revealed, citing figures provided by the government.

The application in this regard was filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

According to the reply, the highest amount of Rs 55.20 crore has been spent to facilitate the journey of migrant workers to their home states, while Rs 80 lakh was allocated to the families of victims (also migrant laborers) of the Aurangabad train accident which took place on May 8.

Galgali had sought details of the total amount deposited in the Chief Minister COVID-19 Relief fund’s account and the sum allocated for relief.

Milind Kabadi, assistant accountant officer, CM Relief Fund, furnished the details of the deposited and allocated amount.

A total of Rs 342.01 crore has been deposited in the Chief Minister Relief fund till May 18, 2020. Of this, Rs 79.82 crore has been spent, of which only Rs 23.82 crore went towards arrangements related to COVID-19, the reply said.

Out of this, Rs 20 crore was allotted to St. George’s Hospital in Mumbai and Rs 3,82,50,000 was given to the state’s Department of Medical Education, it said.

The amount attributed to the funding journey of migrant laborers has been transferred to the respective district collectors so that train fare can be paid on time to the Railways, the reply said.

The fare of migrant laborers located in 36 districts of the state has been pegged as Rs 53.45 crore. The train fare of laborers from Ratnagiri district has been quoted as Rs 1.30 crore and that Sangli district laborers have been quoted as Rs 44.40 lakh, it said.

According to the reply, for the families of 16 laborers, who died in the rail accident in Aurangabad district, financial assistance of Rs 80 lakh (Rs 5 lakh per deceased person), was provided from the account.

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