Tuesday, 14 July 2020
Leader RJCM (Staff Side), Odisha requests Chief PMG to conduct urgent Special RJCM Meeting for discussion on the ongoing issues arrising out of COVID-19 pandemic
D O No. OD / RJCM-COVID-19/2020
Dated at Bhubaneswar the 13th July, 2020
This is regarding conducting a Special RJCM Meeting to discuss the ongoing situation of COVID-19 in Odisha Circle and functioning of Post Offices.
As aware, there has been a steady increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the nation incuding the State of Odisha for which both the Central Govt. and State Governments are frequently issuing several guidelines. More importantly, it is incumbent upon all Govt. offices to ensure that the requisite preventive and containment measures are implemented scrupulously. Since any COVID infection in a Govt. office has serious implications, which would, inter alia, compromise the ability of the Govt. machinery to fight this pandemic, Govt. Offices need to set the highest standard of preventive measures, which would serve as a model for others.
But, while we look at the post offices which are functioning with cramped accommodation, it is being witnessed that there is unexpected rush of customers after Unlock 1.0 and in spite of continuous motivation, the SPMs/Postmasters do fail to convince the customers for maintaining proper social distancing. Similarly, in the available space of Aadhaar Enrolment and Updation Centres, rush of customers including children, Sr. Citizens and women is beyond expectation.
Contradictorily, the Post Offices have no such space inside the office to make suitable sitting arrangements for the customers especially to the Senior Citizens coming both for counter transactions and attending Aadhaar Centres including women and children. Secondly, manpower is a problem to open additional counter for expeditious disposal of the customers or to control the entry of customers to the Post Office. In addition sluggish connectivity is adding salt to the injury most of the time.
Further, with unlock 2.0, the Govt of Odisha vide its Order No. GAD-COOD-MISC-0001-2018-15287/Gen, dated 30.06.2020 has ordered that all the Departments and sub-ordinate offices shall perform official work with 50% of the employees strength in the month of July-2020 in view of sudden rise in infections in the State. Govt. of Odisha has declared weekend shutdown on each Saturday and Sunday till 31.07.2020 in 10 district namely Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Jahrsuguda. Similarly, MHA, Govt. of India vide its Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-1(A), dated 29.06.2020 has reiterated additional directives for workplaces in Para-6 to 10 under Annexure-I with clear instructions for staggering of work / business hours, screening and hygiene, frequent sanitization and social distancing.
In this regard, our letter written earlier on 01.07.2020 as Circle Secretary, AIPEU, Group-C, Odisha was neither acknowledged nor the action taken report was intimated to us. However, the guidelines issued vide C O letter No. DOP/Odisha/COVID-19/2020, dated 07.07.2020 remained confusing for the Divisional Heads to take independent decisions to contain spread of COVID-19.
As such, we would like to request you to kindly arrange a Special RJCM Meeting to have an amicable discussion on the following issues to contain spread of COVID-19 and to save the lives of the staff and their family members.
1. To close down all Post and RMS Offices in the 10 districts of Odisha Circle on each Saturday where weekend shutdown has been declared by the State Govt.
2. To close down all NDTSOs till restoration of normalcy.
3. To close all Aadhaar Centres and other biometric device related activities like PMA, AePS etc.
4. To run the Post and RMS Offices including administrative offices, PSDs, CPCs, Hubs etc. with 50% staff on roster basis as ordered by the Govt. of Odisha.
5. To reduce the business hours of the Post and RMS Offices restricting to maximum 5 hours on all working days and 3 hours on Saturday.
6. Temporary sitting arrangements for customers with provision of chairs, writing tables, fans and drinking water facility in the available space of the PO premises till restoration of normalcy.
7. Supply of Thermal Scanners and Sanitization Machines to all POs with permission for purchase of required disinfectants and other preventive materials as and when necessary.
8. Deployment of a person on daily wage basis at the main entrance of the POs, especially in bigger offices with unexpected rush of customers for thermal scanning, requesting / helping each customer to wash hands and to use sanitizer and for giving tokens to restrict entry of customers to the Counter Hall till restoration of normalcy since with the existing manpower, POs can’t do the same.
9. Provision of police assistance at the entrance of the bigger offices like HOs, HSG-I / HSG-II SOs and MDGs to minimize rush of customers into the counter hall and to maintain proper social distancing.
It may kindly be noted that while other Circles like Karnatak have already taken their own decision on the above issues, our letter dated 01.07.2020 as Circle Secretary, AIPEU, Gr-C, Odisha Circle was ignored regretfully at this critical juncture of COVID-19.
Hope, considering the gravity of the situation, you will arrange a special sitting of the RJCM immediately to take suitable decision on the above issues.
With profound regards
Leader (Staff Side)
Col. Jaleswar Kanhar, IPoS
Chief Postmaster General – Cum - Chairman
Regional Joint Consultative Machinery
Odisha Circle, Bhubaneswar – 751 001