SAD seeks insurance cover, safety arrangements for ration depot holders

Chandigarh, Apr 29 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday asked the state government to provide an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh and make safety arrangements for depot holders distributing ration among the needy in Punjab.

'The Rs 50 lakh insurance cover and appropriate safety arrangements will enable depot holders start the distribution of central relief, including wheat and pulses, among 35 Lakh blue card holders in the state,' he said in a statement here.

The SAD president said he had received a representation from the Punjab State Depot Holders Union, led by Gurjinder Singh Sidhu, that they have been tasked with the distribution of ration among the needy but no arrangement has been made for their safety.

“On the one hand, the government has advised all citizens to maintain social distancing and stay indoors to keep themselves safe from coronavirus, on the other, all depot holders have been put into service for distributing ration without providing any protection-financial or physical,” Badal said.

The SAD chief said the government must ensure safety to those who were taking the risk of distributing ration among the masses.

Condemning the 'callous attitude' of the state government, Sidhu said, “We are pained to announce that we will not be able to distribute this central relief among people until our own safety is not ensured.” Demanding an insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh and safety arrangements for depot holders, Sidhu said the state government should provide an insurance cover, medical protection and PPE kits to 26,000 depot holders for putting their lives in a risk.

“Besides, we want the government to provide us workers for weighing wheat and a few cops to maintain social distancing among people gathered to collect ration,” he added. PTI VSD RDK RDK