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Odisha to develop SOP for early release of ex-gratia for disaster deaths

Bhubaneswar, March 22, 2018: Odisha Government on Thursday decided to develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to enquiry and sanction process of ex-gratia in case of disaster deaths  to ensure that the beneficiaries get the financial aid without delay. 

The move was aimed at paying the assistance to next of kin (NOKs) of the deceased without delay. The matter was discussed at the State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here.

The meeting was attended by top officials of all concerned departments, including Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary R Balakrishnan, members of the SEC, Special Relief Commissioner and OSDMA MD Bishnupada Sethi, Revenue and DM Department Principal Secretary CS Kumar.

In many cases, the sanction and payment of ex-gratia assistance for death due to natural disasters are delayed due to non-availability of Post Mortem Report. As per present practice, the medical institutions conducting Post Mortem (PM) Report are not sharing a copy of PM report with the concerned revenue authorities.

In most cases NOKs of the deceased are collecting PM report from police station and submitting the same to the Tehasildar for sanction of ex-gratia and in the process facing harassment.

Also the Collectors as sanctioning authority require the Case Diary of the UD case for sanction of ex-gratia.

A decision was taken in the meeting that post-mortem report may not be insisted upon for sanction of ex-gratia for death due to natural disasters except for some disasters for which it is absolutely necessary.

The committee advised to examine the matter and develop a SOP detailing the procedure for enquiry and sanction of ex-gratia in case of disaster deaths and place the SOP in the next meeting of the State Executive Committee before taking approval of the Government.

The Chief Secretary also directed to make a Special Drive for collection of the Utilization Certificates from the concerned agencies. He also directed the departments, districts to take expeditious steps to submit the pending Utilization Certificates within a month.

The Committee directed the departments, collectors to take necessary steps to review and update their Disaster Management Plans by the end of May 2018.

OSDMA will provide required support and monitor the preparation of DMPs by the Departments/ Collectors and take steps for review and updation of the State Disaster Management Plan.

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