The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday said that it is awaiting a nod from the central government for giving compensation to the kin of 61 BMC front-line workers who lost their lives in the line of duty after getting infected with COVID-19.
Last year amid the pandemic outbreak, the union ministry of health announced a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for health workers and health-related workers who are on the front-line in the battle against the virus. Following this, the BMC had also announced that it will be adhering to this scheme announced by the union ministry.
Suresh Kakani - additional municipal commissioner said that so far a total of 197 BMC workers have lost their lives in the line of duty, out of which the central government has approved only 17 cases.
“The BMC has already paid compensation to the kin of 54 employees from its own pocket, the center has not yet approved multiple cases as few categories don't fall under their scheme,” Kakani told FPJ.
“The center's scheme covers mainly those who are directly related to the health sector like doctors and nurses, while there are many like sweepers, food distributors and other contractual workers who have been on the frontline, for them the BMC is paying from its own kitty,” Kakani added.
Furthermore, Kakani also added that the funds are being handed to the kin of the employees only after proper scrutiny is being carried out.
Meanwhile, during the standing committee meeting, Ravi Raja senior corporator and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the BMC demanded that the period of claiming compensation should also need to be extended.
Last year, the BMC had notified that it would provide financial compensation to the kin of workers who lose their life between March 31 and December 31, 2020.
“The date must be extended beyond December 31 and insurance cover should be given to front-line workers who are working in the present day as COVID is still there and the number of cases is on the rise in Mumbai,” said Raja.
“This is the central ministry's scheme and we will be following what they do because if we propose anything from our end first they will burden the full responsibility on BMC,” said Kakani.
“Also post December the fatality rate has fallen sharply and not a single frontline worker has died in this year yet,” Kakani added.