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Pricey Matters: Gandhi Ashrams Refuse to Supply Khadi for Protective Masks at UP Govt’s Quoted Rate

Lucknow: An issue has erupted over the worth of khadi for use for making of crores of face masks in Uttar Pradesh to fight the unfold of coronavirus.

While the UP Khadi & Village Industries Board is prepared to offer about Rs 65 per metre of khadi, Gandhi Ashrams in varied districts have said the worth of the fabric ranges between Rs 84-102 per metre.

According to an official communication from UP Khadi & Village Industries Board dated April 6, the fabric required for making 66 crore masks as ordered by the federal government will probably be about 80 to 11 GSM (grams per sq. metre) with one metre of khadi getting used to make eight masks.

For this, the board has quoted an quantity of Rs 65 per metre. However, the authorities of varied Gandhi Ashrams throughout the state have expressed their helplessness in offering the fabric on the given charge.

The common secretary of the ashram in Barabanki, which has been given the duty of supplying khadi for productions of masks for Barabanki and Sultanpur area, Ravi Kant Pande, stated it will not be attainable to produce the fabric on the authorities’s charge.

“We have received the orders for Barabanki and Sultanpur region, but the government’s rate is too low and we will incur heavy losses. Even if we supply the material at Rs 102 per metre, it will be at a loss, but that much can be taken care of,” Pande instructed Information18.

The common secretary of the Gandhi Ashram of Lucknow, Brajbhushan Pandey, has written to the federal government expressing the ashram’s incapacity to offer the khadi at quoted worth.

The common secretary of Agra Gandhi Ashram, Shambhu Nath Chaubey, stated the federal government’s charge shouldn’t be even near the enter value.

“One contract has been given in Unnao at Rs 65 a metre, but that material is not khadi, but markeen. The issue over the cost started because no one from any Gandhi Ashram was consulted before finalising the rate,” Chaubey stated.

Meanwhile, the UP Khadi & Village Industries Board has began on the lookout for different choices.

The board’s Planning Officer, Mahendra Pratap Singh, stated, “There are other organisations who are ready to supply the material at the given rate. Regional officers have now been given the responsibility of procuring the material, getting the masks done and distributing the same. If the Gandhi Ashrams are unable to supply the material at the prescribed rate, other options will be considered. The price has been finalised.”

With the rise within the variety of coronavirus instances within the state, the Yogi Adityanath-led authorities has made carrying of masks obligatory for everybody stepping out of their home.

Soon after, it ordered the manufacturing of 66 crore protecting masks for about 23 crore residents of the state. The washable masks will probably be constructed from khadi and every resident could be getting two masks. The masks will probably be distributed at no cost amongst poor individuals, whereas others must pay a nominal sum for a similar.

Following a gathering chaired on the chief minister’s residence, the choice of distributing masks was taken on April 4. A staff of 11 senior-most officers, led by Adityanath, was fashioned in to make sure efficient implementation of the federal government’s insurance policies within the state within the wake of the pandemic.

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