Demand Notice-for bringing Computer Faculty under ex-gratia scheme
Chandigarh (Ramanjit Singh) A Demand notice has been served on chief Secretary, Government of Punjab, for covering under the ex-gratia compensation scheme of the Punjab Government, all those Computer Faculty from PICTES (Punjab Information and Communication Technology Education Society) who are on active duty on the entry points/borders with Haryana/Rajasthan/ Delhi, for maintaining data of the persons from these States entering the State of Punjab, with a view to prevent the outbreak of the corona virus infection.
1. That it is quite appreciable that the State of Punjab through the Department of Finance (Finance Pension Policy and Coordination Branch) issued a circular dated 8.5.2020 on the subject of “grant of ex-gratia compensation to dependent family members/legal heirs of employees,who die in harness while on Government duty of fighting against corona virus pandemic”.
2. That a perusal of the aforesaid policy circular dated 8.5.2020 shows that regular employees of the Government of Punjab, who die in harness due to the COVID-19 disease contracted while performing official duties, are covered under the aforesaid ex-gratia compensation scheme. The amount of ex-gratia compensation i.e. Rs. 50 lakhs, is quite reasonable. A clarification under para 4 of the aforesaid scheme states that the ex-gratia compensation shall be admissible only where the concerned employee is involved directly in the State’s fight against corona virus, e,g,: Employees on duty at COVID-Hospitals/ CCCs, Drivers transporting citizens of the state from other states/COVID patients/suspects etc., Ration distribution, Curfew/ Lockdown implementation etc., which is enumerative, and not exhaustive list.
3. That the aforesaid scheme was valid for the period from 1.4.2020 to 31.7.2020, subject to review thereafter. However, on account of spurt in the corona virus infected patients during the last some period, the aforesaid scheme is liable to be extended further.
4. That it is pertinent to submit at this stage that the aforesaid circular, neither directly or indirectly covers the employees of various Boards or Corporations or the Societies found by the State of Punjab (which are instrumentalities of the State), although the District Magistrates are deputing a large number of employees of Boards/Corporations/Societies founded by the State Government, on active duty against outbreak of corona virus, but unfortunately, they are not covered under the aforesaid ex-gratia compensation policy dated 8.5.2020. For instance, the District Magistrate, Bathidna has issued office orders from time to time, wherein it is stated that in order to prevent the outbreak of corona virus pandemic, he has deputed a large number of Computer Faculty, who are regular employees under the PICTES (Punjab Information and Communication Technology Education Society) which is a Society founded by the State of Punjab. Such Computer Faculty are deputed for monitoring those persons who enter into the State of Punjab from other States like Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. They are assigned the duty on the barriers on the roads, i.e. the entry points from the other States for entering into the State of Punjab. Apart from Computer Faculty, there are other senior officers who are deputed to supervise the Computer Faculty so deputed. For instance, a Naib Tehsildar is deputed as Nodal Officer. That apart, there is a Senior Medical Officer deputed as Incharge of the team, comprising Computer Faculty. The data collection team comprising Computer Faculty is headed by a separate Nodal Officer, who is normally the Deputy District Education Officer, who has to ensure the presence of the Computer Faculty on duty of data collection, round the clock. For instance, I may refer to an office order dated 7.7.2020, deputing the following Computer Faculty at Doom Wali Barrier, District Bathinda :-
Name of the Employee and his designation
Name of the office
Balvir Singh, Computer Faculty
Amandeep Singh, Computer Faculty
Harish Kumar, Computer Faculty
Lakhwinder Singh, Computer Faculty
Jagmit Singh, Computer Faculty
GSSS Chughe Kalan
Jatinder Kumar, Computer Faculty
Vijay Kumar, Computer Faculty
Kuldeep Singh, Computer Faculty
Amandeep, Computer Faculty
GSSS Rai Ke Kalan
Jogesh Bansal, Computer Faculty
GSSS Sangat Mandi
Jonny Singla, Computer Faculty
Pardeep Kumar, Computer Faculty
Sukhjit Singh, SLA
GSSS Ghuman Kalan
Manpreet Singh, SLA
Gursharan Singh, Library Restorer
Sukhpal Singh, SLA
Gurvinder Singh, SLA
GSSS Kutiwal Kalan
Gurjit Singh, SLA
GSSS Lahira Dhoorkot
5. That you may kindly appreciate that these Computer Faculty are discharging duties in very difficult conditions, which are apparent from the perusal of the office order, Annexure P-1 dated 7.7.2020, which envisages the construction of temporary toilets for them and the facility for providing the drinking water. They are the persons who first come into contact with the people entering from other States, the State of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, into the State of Punjab, and thus, they are the first persons to encounter the corona p[ositive patients. They are on the high risk of contracting corona virus while discharging their duties. All of them are regular employees in the PICTES (Punjab Information and Communication Technology Education Society). Their duties are not different from the duties that may be discharged by any other State Government employee. They are in the frontline of the warriors against corona virus. They also therefore, deserves to be covered under the ex-gratia compensation policy data 8.5.2020, and the dependents/legal heirs of Computer Faculty, if during the course of their duty of fighting against corona virus disease, they themselves contract corona virus and succumb to it.
6. That the various Computer Faculty, who are the regular employees of PICTES (Punjab Information and Communication Technology Education Society) are being deputed almost in all Districts in the State of Punjab for data collection duty at the barriers of the roads, which are entry points for entering from the States of Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan into the State of Punjab. However, I have given an illustrative list of 18 Computer Faculty whose names are mentioned in the office order, Annexure P-1 dated 7.7.2020. All such Computer Faculty are discharging their duties in connection with the affairs of the State of Punjab, and they comprise the data collection teams, who are on the forefront of the war against the corona virus. All of them are discharging duties while facing high risk of contracting corona virus infection. They also deserve to be honoured and rewarded like other corona warriors and in case of death due to contracting the corona virus infection while on active duty as members of data collection team, their legal heirs/dependent family members also deserve to be granted ex-gratia compensation to the tune of Rs.50 lakh, to save their dependent family members/legal heirs from starvation.
I would therefore, call upon you to make necessary corrections in the ex-gratia compensation scheme dated 8.5.2020, in order to include all those computer Faculty (who are regular employees of PICTES) who are deputed on the collection data on the borders with the neighboring States.