The Uttar Pradesh government will give ₹30 lakh as compensation to the family of polling staff who died of COVID-19 which is estimates to be over 2,020 employees, who died due to COVID-19 during panchayat polls duty.
As per an official, 3,078 applications were received seeking compensation. Over 11 lakh government employees were put on election duty and among them 65%, over 6.5 lakh, were teachers, he added.
Earlier, the state government had claimed that only 74 government employees, including three teachers, had died during the poll duty. Whereas, the Uttar Pradesh Prathamik Shikshak Sangh had released a list of 1,621 primary schoolteachers and other staff, claiming that they died after contracting COVID-19 while performing election duty between April 15 and May 5.
The decision came after the government revised it norms.
A senior official said of the Rs 600 crore sanctioned for it, the Department of Panchyati Raj released Rs 300 crore to the State Election Commission for disbursement.
“We received 3,078 applications for compensation. Of them, 2,020 were found eligible and recommendations to give them compensation were forwarded to the SEC. Among, the 2020 eligible for compensation, 50 per cent are teachers,” Additional Chief Secretary (Panchayati Raj) Manoj Kumar Singh told PTI.
He said in the panchyat polls, over 11 lakh government employees were put on election duty and among them 65 per cent, over 6.5 lakh, were teachers. The applications were received under revised protocols for determining death on duty from Covid.
The protocols were revised after various associations contested the state government’s numbers. Under the earlier rules, compensation could be given only if the employee died on duty or during travel to and from place of duty, which factored in a day or maximum two, depending on how far the employee travelled.
The UP Cabinet in June approved the financial assistance, including those who succumbed to COVID-19 within 30 days of poll duty, a spokesperson had said.
The Cabinet also increased the relief amount from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.