Home Guards to be deployed as COVID-19 marshals

A Home Guard discharging duty as COVID-19 marshal on a bus in Mangaluru.  

Nearly a month after it was announced, Home Guards will start work on Monday as COVID-19 marshals to enforce wearing of face masks and keeping social distancing in public places in urban areas of Dakshina Kannada. They will work along with bill collectors and health inspectors of Mangaluru City Corporation.

Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said that Home Guards were on election duty in Kerala and hence, there was delay in deploying them as COVID-19 marshals. While 50 Home Guards have been assigned to the corporation, 30 commenced work on Saturday itself creating awareness among the general public. “A detailed guideline for their working will be released shortly,” Mr. Sridhar told The Hindu.

On March 18, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra announced that Home Guards will be deployed as COVID-19 marshals. A few days later, Dr. Rajendra told reporters that the district administration was considering using personnel from the State Disaster Response Force as COVID-19 marshals.

Dr. Rajendra told The Hindu that as the proposal for using SDRF personnel did not come through, the district administration has gone ahead to make use of 124 Home Guards for enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour across the district. They were deployed after testing negative for COVID-19 through RT-PCR tests. They will work along with personnel from urban local bodies.

Besides the 50 Home Guards for the city, 10 each have been deployed in City Municipal Council limits of Ullal and Puttur. Five Home Guards each have been deployed in Town Municipal Councils of Bantwal, Moodbidri and Someshwara and Town Panchayats of Mulki, Kotekar, Vitla, Belthangady and Sullia. Six Home Guards each have been posted at Talapady, Jalsoor and two more border check-posts for checking occupants of vehicles entering Dakshina Kannada, he said.

District Home Guards Commandant Muralee Mohan Choontharu said that the 50 Home Guards in the city have been provided jackets with “COVID-19 Marshals” label. Remuneration for these 144 Home Guards will be paid through the District Disaster Management Fund.

Meanwhile, the city police seized 64 two-wheelers and four four-wheelers on Saturday night on the charge of violating “corona curfew” norms.

At a few places, police officers, including Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar, had to face the ire of people for clamping down on the movement of vehicles.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 1:54:26 AM |

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