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Combating COVID-19: MHA suspends officers for dereliction of duty, forms 11 Empowered Groups

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New Delhi | March 29, 2020 11:41:29 PM IST
Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday suspended two officers with immediate effect and served a show-cause notice to another two officers for failing in ensuring public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19.

Additional Chief Secretary, Transport Department, GNCTD and Principal Secretary, Finance, GNCTD, and Divisional Commissioner, GNCTD are suspended with immediate effect whereas, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, and Land Building Department, GNCTD, and SDM Seelampur are served a show-cause notice.

MHA said that these officers were responsible to ensure the compliance to instructions issued by the chairperson, National Executive Committee, formed under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 regarding the containment of the spread of COVID-19, and have prima facie failed to do so.

"These officers failed to ensure public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19. Due to the serious lapse in performance of their duties, the competent authority has initiated disciplinary proceedings against these officers," said MHA.

The MHA has also constituted 11 Empowered Groups for a comprehensive and integrated response to COVID-19 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

These Empowered Groups are Medical emergency management plan, Availability of hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities, Disease surveillance and testing and critical care training, Ensuring availability of medical equipment, Augmenting human resources and capacity building, Facilitating supply chain and logistics management for the availability of necessary items such as food and medicines, Coordinating with the private sector, NGOs and International organisation for response-related activities, Economic and welfare measures, Information communication and public awareness, Technology and Data management, Public grievances and suggestions, Strategic issues relating to lockdown.

Out of these 11 empowered groups, nine are headed by Secretary level officers, one by a member of NITI Aayog and one by the CEO of NITI Aayog.

These groups are empowered to identify problem areas and provide effective solution therefor; delineate policy, formulate plans, strategies operations and take all necessary steps for effective and time-bound implementation of these plans, policies, strategies, decisions in their respective areas.

In a matter involving procurement, the empowered groups shall take into consideration special instructions given to the department of expenditure.

During the deliberations, if any of the empowered groups is of the view that particular aspects are not within the domain of that group and falls within the scope of any other group (s), they may seek the guidance of the Cabinet Secretary. (ANI)

 
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