BTIs do not pay COVID compensation to families
Last year, the state government announced compensation of 30 lakh would be paid to the families of road transport company (RTC) employees who died from COVID-19. Several months have passed, but relatives of more than 250 employees are still awaiting the promised sum.
Companies buy more time, citing that they have no financial resources and are waiting for detailed guidance from the state government on the payment of compensation.
According to the data, 276 RTC employees died from COVID-19, of which 96 worked at KSRTC, 108 at BMTC, 48 at NWKRTC, and 24 Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation.
RTC officials say a majority of those who died contracted the virus out of service and, according to government instructions sent earlier, only families of service workers who died from COVID-19 are eligible for compensation. Sources said the RTC identified that only 110 contracted the disease while on duty.
But this is called into question. “We collected information under the Right to Information Act. Across the four BTIs, 276 staff members died from COVID-19, of which only 11 families received compensation. Families who have lost their salaried members are in distress. A few days ago, the dependents of an employee who died of COVID-19 committed suicide due to financial hardship. We urge the state government to keep its promises of compensation, ”said Taher Hussain, state chairman of the Welfare Party of India.
KSRTC Director General Shivayogi C. Kalasad said: “Previously, the state government asked the company to compensate families by raising funds from internal resources. The issue was also discussed in the Council. In view of the financial situation, the Council decided to ask the government to provide the funds. “
He argued that companies are waiting for detailed guidance from the government. “We need clarity on the identification of employees who died from COVID-19 while on duty and on how to deal with the cases of those who died on leave, participating in the strike or others,” a- he declared.
The delay in the payment of compensation angered employees: “Families who have lost their salaried members face many problems. The state government is sending the wrong message by delaying payment. RTCs should establish a helpline to respond to complaints from families, ”said a BMTC employee.