Updated: December 29, 2021 7:32:48 am
In the last 27 days, the state has rejected nearly 10,000 applications for Rs 50,000 ex-gratia by the kin or immediate relatives of people who lost their lives due to Covid-19. The state has, however, set up a system of appeal for those whose applications have been rejected.
Soon, rejected applicants will have the option to apply for a physical appeal on the portal mahacovid19relief.in, which was created to invite applications and pay the compensation.
Nearly a third of the applications were rejected due to duplications, as more than one family member of a patient had applied for the compensation.
Errors in filling up forms is the second biggest reason for rejection. For instance, under ‘name of the deceased’, many applicants mentioned ‘Covid-19’, reading it as ‘name of the disease’.
“We didn’t realise that a word would create so much confusion, so we are changing it to ‘name of the patient’. Also, in several cases, they provide incomplete information, which leads to rejection,” said a senior officer from the relief and rehabilitation department.
The state IT department is in the process of putting an appeal button on the portal. With this, the kin whose applications have been rejected can apply for an appeal at the click of the button. They will be able to physically appeal for their applications in front of the district-level grievances redressal committees.
District-wise officers are individually calling up the kin and guiding them to make the required corrections on the portal.
The committees — consisting of additional district collector, chief medical officer of health, head of department of machine of a medical college among others — would be provided direct access to the medical report of the deceased patient from the hospital and public health department for examination.
“Once they apply for the appeal, they will be provided the time and day to appear for the hearing. In this, the applicants can physically submit the documents and argue for their demand. If it still gets rejected, they can apply in court,” said the officer.
Till Monday afternoon, Maharashtra had received 1.67 lakh applications for the ex-gratia against the recorded 1.42 lakh Covid-19 fatalities. But as The Indian Express reported earlier, 30% of the applications are duplications. So, the department is expecting more applications in the next two weeks. At present, they are getting around 5,000 applications daily.
The department has already disbursed around Rs 130 crore to the 26,000 kin whose applications have been approved.
Of this, in 3,500 cases, the disbursed amounts have bounced due to incorrect bank account details. “We are contacting the families and asking them to provide the correct bank details so that we can reinitiate the process,” said the officer.
Considering the 1.42 lakh Covid-19 deaths, the relief and rehabilitation department has estimated a budget of Rs 700 crore for the compensation.
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