Monday, 16 March 2020

Circle Union writes to the Chief PMG, Odisha on Preventive Measures in connection with Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19)

No. P3NFPE-Odisha/04 - 03/2020
Dated at Bhubaneswar the 16th March, 2020
Col. Jaleswar Kanhar, IPos
Chief Postmaster General
Odisha Circle, Bhubaneswar – 751 009

Sub:-  Preventive Measures in connection with Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) -  reg

Respected Sir,
We would like to bring your kind notice that while different guidelines are being issued by different authorities for taking preventive measures in connection with Corona Virus, the Department has just posted a flyer in India Post website for ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ on 09.03.2020.

However, the staff members working in Post Offices are coming across several circulars from DoPT and UIDAI with contradictory guidelines.

While DoPT vide its O M F No. C – 13014 / 1 / 2020 – Vig, Dated 06.03.2020 (Copy enclosed for kind reference) has directed all the Ministries / Departments to exempt employees to mark biometric attendance in Aadhaar Based Biometric Attendance System (ABBAS)  till 31st March, 2020, UIDAI has issued the following guidelines vide its letter No. 4 (4) / 57 / 122 / 2012 . UIDAI-Pt., Dated 12.03.2020 for operation of Aadhaar Centres (Copy enclosed for kind reference)  in contradiction to the above instructions of DoPT.

1.    All Enrolment Centre premises as well as devices shall be sanitized daily.
2.    All operators and other staff at the Enrolment Centre shall follow appropriate hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly.
3.    The staff shall avoid touching their eye/ nose/ mouth while working.
4.    The residents visiting Enrolment Centre shall also be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water before using the biometric devices.
5.    The operator shall clean the biometric devices after every enrolment/update.
6.    Any staff member suffering from cold, cough, sneezing, etc. may not be allowed to continue Aadhaar operations, till he/she gets healthy.
7.    If any visitor is suffering from fever, cough and difficulty breathing, he/ she may be advised to come back after they are well.
8.    The Centre Manager shall not permit crowding at the center and promote online appointment at all centres.
9.    Every Enrolment Centre shall display advisory for residents as per the template provided by UIDAI.
It is regretted that while the above circular of DoPT has not circulated to the grass root level, the guidelines of UIDAI have been circulated to all concerned vide Circle Office eMail dated 13.03.2020.

The Department is well aware of the conditions / financial power of the Post Offices / Postmasters. While maximum Post Offices are deprived of the basic amenities like water supply and lavatories and the SPMs/Postmasters of such Post Offices have either no financial power or limited financial power (Rs.30/- or Rs.60/-),  the above guidelines of UIDAI and ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ instructed by the Department are very difficult to implement.

Further, during the recently concluded Circle Working Committee meeting of AIPEU Postman & MTS, Odisha Circle branch in Bhubaneswar on 15.03.2020 which has been participated and addressed by this Circle Secretary as the Chairman, NFPE Odisha State CoC, it has been brought to our notice that many Divisional / Sub-Divisional Heads / IPPB authorities are threatening the grass root level employees for forceful opening of IPPB Accounts on the plea of achieving targets which is highly unappreciable in the present scenario. Similarly, we have also noticed that customers are avoiding our delivery staff moving with PMA and misbehaving in rude voice when requested for mobile signature.

In this connection, we have come across a letter the letter No. SMG/J/Misc/Dlgs, dated 12.03.2020 of the SPOs, Shivamogga Division – 577 202 (Copy enclosed for kind reference subject to verification of authenticity) has instructed basing on a message of its R O to all PMs / SPMs of his Division for purchase of dettol / hand wash with sanction of Rs. 100/- to Rs.1000/- from ‘C’ Class S O to HO for taking preventive measures in connection with COVID-19.

As aware, nearly 100 people have been reported in the meantime as the victim of the virus and India has already witnessed three death cases in this regard so far. Both the Govt. of Odisha and Govt. of India have already declared COVID-19 as State and National Disaster. In Odisha, we are regularly noticing admission of affected people in SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack and Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar.  The State Govt. has issued orders to close down Shopping Malls, Cinema Halls and imposed several restrictions on temples, Schools/colleges/other educational institutions and tourist places with directions to remain in a preparatory mood for next six months. Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the entire district of Ganjam in Odisha and such restrictions and precautions are continuing one after another to protect the life of the citizens.

Since the virus is spreading rapidly day by day and not being controlled, we should be very specific in this regard that if proper arrangement on providing suitable protective measures are not made for all postal employees in general and for those who are working in Sorting / Delivery Branches / Hubs, PO Counters and the field officials in particular, they may be the victims of this hazardous virus.

Under the circumstance, we would like to request to consider the following suggestions and to instruct all Divisional / Regional / Unit Heads accordingly at the earliest.

1.    To issue clear departmental guidelines without any contradictions for taking preventive measures in connection with COVID-19.

2.    To stop functioning of Aadhar Centres, delivery through PMA and opening of IPPB Accounts and to exempt employees to mark biometric attendance wherever available till restoration of normalcy.

3.    To stop conducting PLI/RPLI/SB  Melas in the name of achieving targets and also to stop holding of all local Workshops and Training Programmes.

4.    Not to send the recently recruited officials to the cadre of PAs / SAs for induction training to any PTC.

5.    To supply adequate hygienic materials viz. sanitizers, soaps, masks, gloves to all POs and RMS Offices or to instruct all the SPMs/Postmasters/RMS Units to purchase the required items as per their needs.

Expecting your kind response and early action, Sir.

With regards.
Attached : As above.
 Yours faithfully,
(Bruhaspati Samal)
Circle Secretary

Copy for information and necessary action to the Secretary General, NFPE, North Avenue P O building, New Delhi – 110 001. As noticed, no action has yet been taken on NFPE’s letter No. PF/Misc/2020, dated 13.03.2020 addressed to the Secretary (Posts). He is requested to expedite the case at Directorate level. Any kind of delay in this sensitive matter may be highly dangerous to life of the employees.
(Bruhaspati Samal)
Circle Secretary

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