New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the extension of existing provisions of ‘Preservation and Transportation of the Mortal Remains’, available for General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), to casually paid labourers (CPLs), the Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Sunday.
He has also approved an increase in funeral expenditure for the CPLs to Rs 10,000 from Rs 1,000. This will be borne by the government in the event of the death of any CPL while on Government bonafide duty at BRO projects, whose last rites are being performed at the worksite, the ministry said.
The CPLs are employed by the BRO for the construction of roads in forward/border areas. They work hand-in-hand with the BRO personnel in adverse climates and tough working conditions, which sometimes results in casualties.
Until now, the facility of preservation and transportation of mortal remains to the native place at government expense was available only for the GREF personnel. The CPLs working in similar conditions were deprived of this facility. In case of their death, the burden of the transportation falls on the bereaved families, the release read.
Due to lack of financial resources, the family of the deceased are unable to bear the expenditure of airfare or even transportation by road in most conditions. A bereaved family often finds it extremely difficult to afford the funeral and other related expenditures. In such circumstances, the Next of Kin/Legal Heirs of deceased CPLs do not get a chance to pay tribute by way of performing the last rites of their kin, who have laid down their lives for the cause of the Nation.
The Raksha Mantri, while visiting forward BRO worksites, had witnessed the difficult working conditions of the CPLs. He was solicitous about their welfare and had directed the BRO to craft appropriate welfare measures for them. These new welfare measures will go a long way in enabling the bereaved dependents to perform decent last rites to their loved ones, the ministry release said.
Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan visited Karwar Naval Base and reviewed the ongoing and upcoming infrastructure development projects under Project Seabird there.
The CDS was briefed by the Director General about the ongoing developments, and he also interacted with the Project Team, a Defence official said. (ANI)
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