Man dressed at Santa sanitises a BEST bus.
Man dressed at Santa sanitises a BEST bus.
Bhushan Koyande

The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has paid Rs 50 lakh as compensation to the kin of 76 former employees who succumbed to COVID-19 after getting infected while being on duty.

Earlier in February, while announcing the 2021-22 civic budget municipal commissioner - Iqbal Singh Chahal announced the compensation money and said that the eligible beneficiaries will get the money within one month.

On Tuesday, BEST spokesperson- Manoj Varade said the money is being handed out to the beneficiaries after doing multiple rounds of verification of the documents submitted by the kins of the deceased.

"The BEST management has formed a committee which is verifying each and every documents submitted by the kins of the deceased to make sure the document submit the claim," Varade told FPJ.

"An eligible person will get the compensatory amount at any cost but for record the management also needs to do background check before transferring the amount," he added.

Varade also added apart from giving financial compensation, the BEST administration has given jobs to 55 relatives of former employees who succumbed while on COVID-19 duty.

The three member committee comprise of one medical officer, on Human Resource (HR) officer and one senior official from the audit department. Sources in BEST said, unless all the three officers gives confirmation the general manager wouldn't give the final signature.

Dr. Anil Kumar Singhal - Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of BEST said before approving the panel does a thorough investigation of the the medical condition of the deceased.

"We also check if the patient has reported to duty for a period of 14 days and those claiming the compensation are legal heirs or not," Singhal said.

Meanwhile, in the past one week, there has been a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in BEST undertaking. Last week there were oy eight active cases in BEST, however on Tuesday the active case tally stood at 21.

"There has been a rise because the cases in Mumbai has also started to rise, still we are not keeping our guard down as our primary objective is to get all our employees vaccinated at the earliest," said Singhal.

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