Civil defence units to come up in DK, Udupi

Civil defence units to come up in DK, Udupi

Roopa D, IGP and Additional Commandant General, Home Guards. DH file photo

Roopa D, IGP and Additional Commandant General, Home Guards, and Ex-Officio Additional Director, Civil Defence, that the Department is mulling over introducing technology to weed out corruption in Home Guards.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Roopa said that there have been complaints on increase in corruption from the commandants within the setup and the Department has, therefore, decided to take action to curb such activities.

“Biometric attendance with a tab will ensure greater accountability. Reformative measures have been recommended for Home Guards, with a proposal to the government to ensure insurance and offering ration similar to police. The proposal, however, is in the initial phases,” she said.

She added that as the regularisation of the service is not available for Home Guards, it is difficult to ensure insurance facilities to the Home Guards. “Talks are on with LIC, with the possibility of parade attendance of the Home Guards to be considered to provide the service,” she said.

She said that the biometric system will be used even in the training sessions and allocations would be made going by the system.

Roopa added, “Apart from the state capital, the government is planning on setting up civil defence units in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. The volunteers who enrol will be trained for disaster management skills and to handle emergencies. There are nearly 7,000 volunteers working in 65 civil defence units in Bengaluru.”

She reminded that most of the volunteers are students from different backgrounds. “Volunteering is a big force when harnessed well and used to great heights. Around three applications have been received for the post of chief warden in both Dakshina Kannada and Udupi each. With the structure being set up, the volunteers will be trained at the National Civil Defence College in Nagpur,” she explained.

Further, she said that most of the Home Guards are deployed for service in various departments and are paid daily honoraria. “There was demand for Rs 500 as honorarium as against the existing Rs 400 per day, however, the government announced a hike of Rs 55 just before the announcement of the elections. Hence, there are very grim chances of the government again considering a hike in the honorarium,” she said.

“There was delay in payments for the Home Guards for about three months as the department did not receive budgetary allocations. There were also problems in deploying Home Guards to different departments like excise, tourism department, police, RTO and mines and geology,” said the officer.

She added, “We are working on a software which will enable us for automated rotation.”

Replying to a question on the irregularities in the prison system that she had fought in the past, Roopa said that an FIR has been registered as per the information given by the ACB. She said she is waiting for the RTI response for a query and added that she has gone for higher appeal on the issue.

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