BHUBANESWAR:The Odisha Government on Thursday has decided to develop a standard operating procedure (SoP) to expedite inquiry and sanction of ex gratia to the kin of natural disaster victims.
At the State Executive Committee (SEC) of Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, the matter came up for discussion.
Sanction and payment of ex gratia assistance for death due to natural disasters are delayed due to non-availability of post-mortem reports as medical institutions do not share it with revenue authorities.
In most cases, family members of the deceased collect the report from police and submit it to the tehsildar leading to unnecessary harassment. Similarly, Collectors being the sanctioning authority necessitate case diary of unnatural death cases for clearing ex gratia.
The meeting felt that post-mortem report should not be insisted upon for sanction of ex gratia except for disasters where it is a statutory requirement.The committee recommended that an SOP detailing the procedure for inquiry and sanction of ex gratia be drafted and placed in the next meeting of the SEC before Government’s approval is taken.
The Chief Secretary also directed to conduct a special drive for collection of Utilisation Certificates (UC) from the agencies concerned. He also directed the departments and districts to take expeditious steps to submit the pending UCs within a month.
Similarly, the committee also asked administrative departments and Collectors to take necessary steps to review and update their Disaster Management Plans by May end. The OSDMA will provide required support and monitor preparation of the plans.
Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, Special Relief Commissioner and OSDMA MD Bishnupada Sethi and Revenue and Disaster Management Department Secretary Dr CS Kumar were present.