Victims’ wait for relief announced by Chief Minister gets longer

Oct 17 2013, 01:40 IST
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SummaryCollector says incident not a natural disaster, not in his power to sanction compensation.

Families of Dockyard Road building collapse on September 27 will have to wait for some time before they receive the compensation of Rs 1 lakh promised by the Chief Minister. The collapse of the ground-plus-four floor building that housed 22 families in its upper floors had killed 61 and injured 33. In some cases, entire families were wiped out.

Citing the accident as a non-natural disaster, the city co llector, through whom the compensation is disbursed, has said it is not in his powers to sanction the relief. “In this light, we have approached the state government to decide the compensation to be paid to the victims,” said C V Oak, Collector (island city).

A senior official from the collector’s office said a representation regarding the details of the collapse has been made to the state government. “There was no major rainfall when the collapse occurred and one cannot term it as a natural disaster,” said the official, adding that the collector can only provide compensation in case of natural disasters such as floods, collapses due to heavy rain and landslides.

Senior officials at the collector’s office said there is no deadline set by the state government for paying the compensation.

Following the incident last month, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan visited the site and promised strict action against those responsible for the tragedy. He had announced an aid of Rs 1 lakh to the families of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has begun the process of giving compensation for the victims. Families or relatives of the BMC employees who were killed in the collapse will be given Rs 5 lakh. In case of others, the compensation is to the tune of Rs 2 lakh.

“The cheques are being disbursed to the victims or their families and relatives. We have also given them basic items necessary for setting up their homes,” said a senior BMC ivic official.

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