36 Elphinstone stampede victims granted compensation by Railway Tribunal
Around 6 months after the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, the Railway Claims Tribunal in Mumbai has granted compensation to 36 victims.
Relatives of the 17 deceased have been granted a compensation of Rs 8 lakh each while the 19 injured have been compensated as per their disability. The compensation for injured victims ranged from Rs 25,000 to Rs 8 lakh, which was given in case of total disability.
23 people lost their lives and 36 were injured in the stampede on the narrow bridge connecting the Elphinstone Road station of the Western Railway with Parel station of the Central Railway on September 29 last year.
K P Yadav, the registrar of the Railway Claims Tribunal’s principal bench in New Delhi, said the tribunal’s Mumbai bench awarded the compensation on Tuesday.
“Our Mumbai bench awarded the compensation to 36 stampede victims, including 17 deceased and 19 injured,” he told news agency PTI.
After the stampede, total 39 claims were filed, including 18 by the kin of the deceased and 21 by the injured people, before the tribunal in Mumbai.
Three cases, including one of a deceased person and two of the injured victims, could not be decided yesterday due to some technical grounds. However, Yadav said that these cases will also be decided soon.
He said this was the first time when neither the Railways nor the ministry concerned contested the claim and the tribunal ensured that the victims did not face any hassles.
“Since neither the Railways nor the ministry contested the claims, the compensation could be awarded speedily,” he said.
After the stampede, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had visited the Elphinstone Road station and announced Rs 10 lakh compensation for the victims on behalf of the Railways.
The Maharashtra government had also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased.
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who has been following the issues of various railway accident victims, lauded the tribunal and expressed happiness that the order was pronounced within six months of the mishap.
“Considering the situation that the Railway Claims Tribunals have a backlog of six years, this compensation is quite appreciable, that too of up to Rs 8 lakh,” he said.
On average, the tribunal takes anywhere between 18 to 24 months for final settlement of compensation claims.