The Ministry of Defence on Friday informed that it has invoked special provisions and granted emergency financial powers to armed forces in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh invoked special provisions and granted emergency financial powers to the armed forces to empower them and speed up their efforts in tide over the current Covid-19 situation in the country.
“To empower the Armed Forces and speed up their efforts in the nationwide fight against Covid-19 situation, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh invoked special provisions and granted Emergency Financial Powers to the Armed Forces today,” the Defence Minister’s Office tweeted.
“These powers will help formation commanders to establish and operate quarantine facilities/ hospitals and to undertake procurement/ repair of equipment/ items/ material/ stores, besides provisioning of various services and works required to support the ongoing effort against Covid,” another tweet read.
Under these powers, Vice Chiefs of Armed Forces including Chief Of Integrated Defence Staff To The Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee (CISC) and General Officer Commanding-in-Chiefs (GOC-in-Cs) and equivalents of all three services have been given full powers, whereas Corps Commanders/Area Commanders have been delegated powers up to ₹50 lakh per case and Division Commanders/Sub Area Commanders and equivalents have been delegated powers up to ₹20 lakh per case.
These powers have been devolved initially for a period of three months from May 1 to July 31, 2021. These are in addition to the emergency powers delegated to the Medical Officers of the Armed Forces last week, the ministry said.The emergency powers were sanctioned to the Armed Forces last year too when the Covid-19 pandemic first broke out. This had helped the Armed Forces tackle the situation faster and in an effective manner.
As the country is struggling with the second wave of the novel coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds, the Indian Air Force has flown supplies to Lucknow to set up a hospital for COVID-19 patients in the capital city, according to an official statement.
“The Indian Air Force (IAF) is continuing to carry out sorties from within India and abroad to cater to the requirement of oxygen in the country, amid the current COVID-19 situation,” said the office of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Twitter. It further said, “An IL-76 aircraft landed in Lucknow carrying supplies for setting up of COVID hospital in the city.”
Earlier on April 29, IAF carried out 23 sorties from abroad, airlifting 39 oxygen containers with 670 metric tonnes of capacity, while from within the country, it carried out 124 sorties, airlifting 87 containers with 1,798 metric tonnes capacity, added the statement.
According to the Union health ministry data on Friday, India witnessed 3,86,452 new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,87,62,976, while active cases crossed the 31 lakh-mark.