Tamil Nadu

Free masks plan to initially cover urban areas

Two crore residents living in 14 municipal corporations, 121 municipalities and 528 town panchayats will be covered.

Two crore residents living in 14 municipal corporations, 121 municipalities and 528 town panchayats will be covered.  

Every PDS beneficiary will get two masks

The project involving the provision of two face masks, free, to every beneficiary under the public distribution system (PDS) has undergone certain changes.

Originally, the idea was to supply a total of 13.48 crore reusable cloth masks, two per PDS beneficiary, as enumerated in 2.08 crore ration cards. Now, the plan is to initially cover the people in urban areas of the State, barring Chennai.

Administrative convenience is said to have caused the change.

Two crore residents living in 14 municipal corporations, 121 municipalities and 528 town panchayats will be covered. As a result, the number of required masks has gone down to 4 crore, for the time being.

After the authorities floated the tender earlier this month, as many as 46 firms had responded. They have provided samples that are being tested by the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), Coimbatore. The association’s report is likely to be submitted to the authority on Monday. Price bids will be opened by Wednesday.

On the basis of the rate contract, the project will be awarded.

This means that those matching the rate of the lowest bidder (L1) will also bag the contract, said a senior official in charge of the project.

Delinking city

As far as Chennai is concerned, the government has decided to delink the city from the scope of the project, as a similar project is under implementation here, focussing on slum dwellers.

Since the middle of May, the local body has supplied about 44.5 lakh masks to slum dwellers, two per person, said another official.

The remaining 5.5 lakh persons will also be covered soon.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 11:22:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/free-masks-plan-to-initially-cover-urban-areas/article31936417.ece

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