Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Friday disbanded his ‘Team 11’ consisting of civil servants, who have been tackling the Covid-19 pandemic since the past one year.
The CM replaced the team with ‘Team 9’ at a meeting of senior officials and ministers.
The development comes in the wake of the ‘Team 11’ drawing severe flak for its inability to handle the Covid crisis in the state.
Talking to ThePrint, Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, Information, said, “The chief minister included the ministers in the new team, so the whole team got restructured. Now it will be known as ‘Team 9’ for Covid crisis management.”
“The health minister and medical education minister will now be part of it. It has been done to make coordination between ministers and officials better,” he added.
Sehgal has been given the responsibility to coordinate with ‘Team 9’ and give information to the media.
CMO sources said the chief minister wanted to keep only those members in the team “who will be more useful in the crisis”. They also said this was done to ”change the narrative that the government is only run by the bureaucrats” in the state.
The CM, meanwhile, tested negative for Covid Friday.
Ministers got major responsibility
Medical Education Minister Suresh Khanna and Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh will lead the ‘Team 9’.
Khanna will be considered the first member of ‘Team 11’. His responsibility will be to coordinate for bed availability in hospitals and vaccination campaigns in the state.
He will have three members — MoS, medical education, additional chief secretary, medical education, and principal secretary, medical education — working in a sub-committee under him.
Health Minister Singh will be the second member of the team. His responsibility will be to coordinate work related to medical kits, testing and health facilities.
Minister of State, health, and additional chief secretary, health, will be part of his sub-committee.
Chief Secretary R.K. Tiwari will be the third member of the team. His responsibility will be to coordinate between the state and Centre.
Infrastructure and Industrial Development Department Commissioner Sanjeev Mittal will be the fourth member of the team. He will be responsible to look after the industrial activities amid Covid.
Agriculture Production Commissioner Alok Sinha to be the fifth member of the team. He will be responsible to look after the agricultural activities in the state.
Avaneesh Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, will be the sixth member of the team. He will coordinate for oxygen availability with help of principal secretaries of the Food Safety and Drug Administration and transportation department.
Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Renuka Kumar is the seventh member, who will be responsible for organising testing and quarantine facilities for migrant workers.
DGP H.C. Awasthi to be the eighth member of the team. He will sort out issues related to containment zone, weekend lockdown and Covid protocols.
Additional chief secretary, rural development and panchayati raj department, Manoj Kumar Singh will be the ninth member of the team. He will look after fogging and sanitisation works.
Who have been dropped
From the old team, only two members have been dropped — Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Devesh Chaturvedi and Principal Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Bhuvnesh Kumar.
An official in the CMO told ThePrint, “There was a demand from ministers as well as from the party to include ministers in the Covid-management team.”
“This has also been done to change the narrative that the government is only run by the bureaucrats here. The chief minister was disappointed with the way things have been handled in the last two weeks in the state. He only kept those members in the team who are more useful in this crisis,” the official said.
“That’s why he has changed the responsibilities and cut-short the team. The new committee will be accountable for providing necessary relief to the common man and dealing with the situation in a sensitive manner,” the official added.
(Edited by Debalina Dey)