The Maharashtra government on Wednesday, June 2, launched the 'corona-free village' competition to encourage measures that would aid in curbing the spread of coronavirus at the grassroots level.
The contest is part of the 'My Village Corona Free' initiative where the participating villages will be examined based on as many as 22 categories, and the winning village in each of the six revenue divisions of the state will be awarded ₹50 lakh as prize money.
"The aim is to make talukas, districts, and ultimately, the entire state of Maharashtra corona-free as soon as possible," Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif said, reported India Today.
Three village panchayats in each of the six revenue divisions will be rewarded for implementing effective containment measures and proper management during the pandemic.
The first prize will be ₹50 lakh. Meanwhile, the second would secure an amount of ₹25 lakh, and the third ₹15 lakh. A total of 18 prizes, amounting to ₹5.4 crore, will be accorded to the winners decided by a committee.
The minister also said that the winning villages would also get an additional amount equal to the prize money to boost their morale and will be utilised for developmental projects in those villages.
On Wednesday, June 3, Maharashtra recorded 15,169 fresh infections and at least 285 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to LiveMint. Over 29,000 patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals.
The state has been actively prepping for the third wave of the coronavirus. In a separate incident, nearly 9,000 children in Ahmednagar reportedly tested positive for the disease, triggering alarm bells for the government.