Bhubaneswar: As the process begins for the Panchayat Election, the State Election Commission (SEC) has announced compensation for the polling officials in case of death or major injury while on duty.
In an order, the SEC said a compensation Rs 30 lakh will be provided to families of polling personnel who die due to any violent act of extremist or anti-social elements in road mines, bomb blasts, armed attacks, etc. In case of death due to other reasons, the compensation amount will be Rs 15 lakh.
As Covid-19 pandemic continues to prevail across the State, the Commission has announced Rs 30 lakh ex-gratia for those polling officials, who die due to COVID-19. The Covid-19 infected officials will get a cashless medical treatment facility.
It further said that a death certificate specifying the reason for death has to be issued by the Medical Officer and countersigned by the CDMO concerned certifying specifically the cause to be COVID-19.
In case of permanent disability like loss limb, eye sight, etc caused due to any violent acts of extremist or unsocial elements like, road mines, bomb blasts, armed attacks and left wing extremists attack, the amount of compensation would be Rs 15 lakh,”
On permanent disability whether by accident or by any other means arising out of and in course of election duty, the ex-gratia amount would be Rs 7.50 lakh.
The SEC has also made provision to help the severely injured employees during the polling time. Severely injured employees in any accident will get Rs 2 lakh as ex-gratia.
The accidental compensation covers the period the employees begin their journey from their house for the poll task till they are back home after being officially relieved.
“A person is to be treated on election duty, as soon as he/she leaves his /her residence /office to report for any election-related duty, including training and until he/she reaches back his / her residence/office after performance of his / her election-related duty. Any mishap that takes place during the said period shall be treated as having occurred on election duty subject to the condition that there should be a causal connection between the occurrence of death/injury and the election duty,” the notification said.
The duty period is to be counted from the date and time of reporting for election duty before the Election Officer and ends with being relieved by the Election Officer from election duty.
The SEC said that the family of the deceased personnel or the personnel disabled/grievously injured on election duty will be eligible to the above grant subject to production of certain documents from the appropriate authorities in support of the claim.
The injured personnel on election duty himself and in the case of deceased, the legal heirs of his family shall within a period of three months from the date of injury/death, as the case may be, submit an application for compassionate grant to the concerned Collector in Form -I in case death and Form-II in case of disability/temporary and prolonged incapacitation.
The application and report referred to above shall be sent by the concerned Election Officer with his recommendation to the State Election Commission, Odisha within one month of the receipt of the application, who may sanction the compassionate grant in favour of the family members in the event of death or the person in case of disability.
This benefit is also applicable for the period of Bye- election conducted in the State. Further, it is clarified that the staff those who are engaged in the conduct of election work in the office of SEC, Odisha, office of the Collector and Sub-ordinate office are also eligible to avail the aforesaid benefit.
To avoid duplicity, the onetime compassionate grant payable as per payable as per Finance Department Resolutions for death and injury / disability will not be payable to the families of Government employees covered under this Order during the period this order remains in force.
The decision of the State Election Commission regarding sanction of quantum of compassionate grant is final.
The Commission further directs that the matter be looked into promptly by the officers so that the family member or the person himself/herself is not harassed to get the document.
If such a matter is brought to the notice of the Commission, it will take stern action against the officer(s) for whom the matter is delayed.
Meanwhile, the Commission has started supplying ballot papers to the districts. Ballot papers for Ward Member, Sarpanch, PS Member supplied to 10 districts (alphabetically) from Government Press, Cuttack. Other Districts will be supplied on January 19 and 21.