Kelzang Wangchuk | Nganglam 

The security service provider for Dungsam Cement Corporation Limited (DCCL) in Nganglam, which was imposed a fine of Nu 5 million (M) after one of its security guards allegedly breached Covid-19 containment protocol would seek an intervention from an arbitrator.

This is after DCCL terminated the service Heruka Security Service.

According to the proprietor of Heruka Security Service, Pema Gyeltshen, he was not aware of the task force’s decision until a private newspaper reporter called him. “I was also not informed one of my security guards tested positive by the management.”

Pema Gyeltshen said he asked DCCL to share the footage of the closed-circuit television (CCTV), but the company did not. “I should be the first person to get the footage, but I didn’t understand why it was shared to the media and not me.”

He questioned how the task force came to the conclusion that the security guard was responsible for the outbreak of the virus. “One of the containment area loaders also tested positive for Covid-19 with a security guard. The loader could also be a possible source for the virus outbreak in the area.”

He claimed that the security guard captured in the CCTV was not the one who tested positive on June 19.

He said that he didn’t understand what could be the reason for issuing the termination letter, which stated the contract was terminated on June 25. Heruka Security Service had contract with DCCL for three years.

Pema Gyeltshen said DCCL and task force would have to prove how his security was responsible for the outbreak of the virus and how he breached the protocol. “DCCL allows the Indian trucks to enter without testing and the Indian trucks could be a possible source for the outbreak.”

He said many front-liners breached the protocols, but concerned authorities didn’t impose such a huge amount of fine for them. “What could be the reason for imposing such a huge amount of fine for me?”

He said he would request concerned authorities to look into the matter again and consider a fine imposed on him.

However, the eastern Covid-19 task force (EC-19TF) chairman, Dasho Pema Chewang, said the security guard entered the containment area and interacted with the Indian drivers on June 12 and June 14 when they reviewed the CCTV footage.

“The joint task force decided to impose a fine Nu 5M as our concern was more on breach of protocol,” he said, adding that the fine was imposed after calculating the cost for testing kids, fuel to reach the samples at Mongar and expenditures incurred in Covid-19 related services.

He said the decision would depend on the DCCL’s management to continue or terminate the security service, although the task force had informed the management that it was a clear breach of protocol. “We would not spare whoever breaches the protocol.”

The chairman said the task force also asked DCCL to install additional CCTV and set up monitoring room with dedicated officials as the DCCL has many containment parking areas such as domestic and Indian parking and construct a watchtower.

DCCL’s chief executive officer, Sonam Jigme, said the management issued the termination letter to Heruka Security Service and deployed de-suups, as they didn’t deploy the required 34 guards. “We also cannot trust the security service as the guards are not trained and professional.”

He said the management had installed the CCTVs in all the vulnerable areas and set up the control room for the CCTV with dedicated officials, adding that the management would soon order and install additional CCTV cameras.

Edited by Tashi Dema