Senior Congress leader Eshwar Khandre criticised the Karnataka government for the delay in setting up a 10,000-bed COVID-Care Centre at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre(BIEC) on the outskirts of Bengaluru to treat asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.
BIEC was shortlisted as one of the locations for a COVID-Care Centre over a month ago as the largest centre to treat COVID-19 patients in the state but it is yet to begin operations.
Eshwar Khandre said that the facility is still incomplete and that there was a lack of progress in the work done by the state government and that it was far from being operational. "They (state government) focused on the number of beds and publicised it but they are yet to recruit doctors and nursing staff which should have been the first thing they did. The centre should have been ready by now," Eshwar Khandre added.
"If this was in place last month then people would not struggle without beds in Bengaluru like we have seen in the past month. We(Opposition) had suggested that the government turn BIEC into a treatment centre in March itself," Eshwar Khandre told TNM.
Eshwar along with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visited BIEC earlier this week and inspected the beds and cots in place.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that he had directed officials to procure the items needed for the centre instead of leasing them on a rental basis. The plan by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) to lease materials would cost the state exchequer a sum of Rs 24 crores per month but Yediyurappa said an amount of Rs 4.23 crore per month will be spent on procuring beds as well as items like mattresses, fans, buckets, mugs and dustbins at Rs 7,500 per set. In addition, an initial outlay of Rs 7.32 crore was spent in arranging beds and cots.
The COVID-Care Centre was publicised by Yediyurappa on July 10 as the largest COVID-Care Centre in the country but two weeks on, it is yet to begin treating patients.