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Ex-gratia to BRO's casual paid labourers: Rajnath approves waiver of 179-day provision

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday approved the waiver of a provision for the Border Road Organisation's "casual-paid labourers" (CPLs) to complete 179 working days for receiving the payment of ex-gratia compensation in case of an accident.

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Under the existing provisions, the CPLs who have worked at least 179 days in the BRO are covered for the payment of an ex-gratia lump sum compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

"Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal for waiver of the provision to complete 179 working days, at the time of accident, for payment of ex-gratia lump sum compensation to Casual Paid Labourers working in Border Roads Organisation (BRO)/General Engineering Reserve Force (GREF)," the defence ministry said in a statement.

The families of several deceased CPLs have been deprived of the grant due to this constraint of 179 working days.

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The BRO units are located in far-flung, snow-bound high-altitude areas where no proper public as well as medical facilities are available.

Factors namely uncongenial climate, inhospitable hilly terrain, hazardous work sites and occupational health hazards pose enormous risk to the lives of the CPLs, the ministry said.

"Considering the cases of deaths occurred/reported during their engagement, the waiver of the condition of minimum 179 working days on humanitarian grounds would be a great reprieve for the families of the CPLs who lose their breadwinner while on government duty and will go a long way in securing their livelihoods," it added.

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Singh recently approved a number of welfare measures for the betterment of the CPLs, irrespective of the number of days of engagement with the BRO. The measures included a group (term) insurance scheme for the CPLs engaged by the BRO and GREF for ongoing projects.

The scheme provides for an insured value of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin in case of death of the CPLs.

Preservation and transportation of mortal remains and transport allowance entitlement to the families of a deceased CPL was another measure announced by the ministry.

Singh had also approved the enhancement of the funeral assistance to Rs 10,000 from Rs 1,000 to the families of deceased CPLs. PTI MPB RC

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