Cuttack: Contrary to the smooth vaccination claims by the civic authorities, many locals in the Silver City here have alleged several loopholes in the inoculation drive against novel coronavirus.
The locals have claimed that the authorities of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) are yet to make any special arrangement for the vaccination of elderly people. Moreover, the civic body has failed to vaccinate the slum dwellers and people from lower strata of the society, they alleged.
Sources in the CMC claimed that a total of 3,48,874 doses of Covid vaccine have been administered to the people of Cuttack since the launch of the inoculation drive against the deadly virus January 16 this year.
The civic authorities have time and again claimed that special arrangements are in place to inoculate elderly people, differently-abled persons and foreign-bound students.
“We have made special arrangements to vaccinate foreign-bound students. Around 30 students have been vaccinated in these facilities since June 9,” said a source in the CMC.
However, the locals claimed that the CMC has not introduced any special measure to vaccinate the elderly people. “The civic body is yet to set up special vaccination centres for the elderly people despite repeated requests in this regard from several quarters. Many senior citizens of the city have been deprived of the vaccine due to the online registration and slot booking system,” said Bishnu Charan Das Samanta, secretary of senior citizens’ forum of Cuttack.
Moreover, it has been alleged that many people who have been administered the first dose of the vaccine are now facing difficulties in getting the second dose.
“The CMC has failed to make any arrangement at the ward-level for the smooth vaccination of the local residents. Many people from outside the city are getting inoculated at various vaccination centres here. A few days ago, they had opened a vaccination centre at Ravenshaw University but there was no arrangement for the locals. Even, the local Puja committee was not informed on the issue,” said Uttam Behera, president of College Square Puja Committee.
Several locals have claimed that they are facing difficulties in getting the vaccine even after booking slots for the same at various vaccination centres. They alleged that many vaccination centres in the city have been closed by the authorities without citing any valid reason.
“The authorities had recently opened a vaccination centre in our locality. The centre was closed after two days of vaccination. We have raised the issue with the CMC but to no avail,” said social activist Sushant Kumar Sahu of Bankabazar area.
Many in the city have blamed the online registration and slot booking system as a stumbling block in the vaccination of poor people and slum dwellers. “The city has around 50,000 slum dwellers. Till date, only around a thousand people from the slums have been vaccinated against the deadly virus,” said Brundaban Das Azad, president of Akhila Odisha Jhopadipati Mahasanga that champions the cause of slum dwellers.
There are also allegations that the CMC is yet to create awareness on the vaccination drive among the poor and people from the lower strata.
“Only a few educated people from our community have been vaccinated against the Covid-19. More than 80 per cent people have been deprived of the vaccine due to their ignorance about the inoculation drive,” said Qadam-E-Rasool Development Committee president Sheikh Muntakim Bux.
Despite rerated attempts, CMC commissioner Ananya Das could not be reached for her comments on the issue.