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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Covid deaths: Nearly 19,000 families in Pune to receive Rs 50,000 ex gratia compensation

Officials preparing software to digitise the process, avoid further stress to families.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: October 6, 2021 9:08:12 am
Pune news, pune covid news, pune covid deathsAseem Gupta, Principal Secretary, Relief and Rehabilitation Department, told The Indian Express that the state government was preparing a software to disburse the amount to the families of Covid victims following the Supreme Court directive. (Express File)

As many as 18,956 families that have lost one or more members to Covid-19 in Pune district will receive ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000 for each death. The process to disburse the amount will begin this month.

Aseem Gupta, Principal Secretary, Relief and Rehabilitation Department, told The Indian Express that the state government was preparing a software to disburse the amount to the families of Covid victims following the Supreme Court directive. “We are developing the software in such a manner that the aggrieved families do not have to run around in search of documents and other related things. The process will be fully online and there will be no need to queue up at government offices,” he said.

Those who live in civic limits will get the compensation through their respective councils or corporations, Gupta added. “Similarly, those who live in rural areas will get the compensation from Zilla Parishads.”

Once the system is set up, the families will have to fill up application forms, attach the death certificate and submit it to the civic or government office under the jurisdiction of which they live or the death has occurred. “We are trying to ensure minimal paperwork and that the families are not put under stress. Compensation will also be given to the families of the deceased whose death certificate does not mention Covid, but they must have tested positive for Covid,” he said.

Around 1.38 lakh deaths have occurred in Maharashtra, he pointed out. “I think we will have to distribute more than Rs 700 crore,” he said.

Last month, the Supreme Court had directed the Central government to pay Rs 50,000 ex-gratia compensation to the families of Covid victims. On Monday, the apex court approved the Centre’s guidelines regarding the payment of compensation. The guidelines envisage payment of ex-gratia to those who died at home or in hospital within 30 days of being tested positive for Covid. The families of Covid patients who died by suicide will also be eligible for the compensation.

When approached for comment, District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh said as many as 18,956 citizens in Pune district have succumbed to Covid since March 2020. “These include those in the limits of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), cantonment areas and rural areas of Pune district. We are awaiting the state government’s directives to start the process,” he said.

Dr Laxman Gofane, senior medical officer, PCMC, said, “Over 4,400 deaths have occurred due to Covid in Pimpri-Chinchwad area. Some of those who died are from outside PCMC areas. So far, we have not provided any compensation to the aggrieved families. Now as soon as we receive the directives from the government, we will appeal to the families to submit their applications with necessary documents.”

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