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Before fund, fix the system

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2010 23:48 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

S N Mishra spends days cutting newspaper reports about road accidents and pasting them to raise awareness about the rot in the transport and justice systems.

He has suffered greatly under the wheels of both, after all.

A Blueline bus killed his daughter Alka in July 2007. His son was left physically disabled in a Blueline accident in December 1998. And two decades ago a (then) Redline severely injured his wife.

Mishra, who retired as a Transport Costing manager with RITES, registered a FIR in his daughter's case, but he says, “nothing has happened so far.”

Responding to the Supreme Court's recent suggestion about creation of a special fund for road accident victims, Mishra says the money is poor consolation.

“Why can't we fault the person who has issued a license to the killer driver? Why can't we hold guilty the police who carry out post mortem on the spot or for that matter, even the advocate, who at times, is a party to settle claims. Why not get these people pay for the compensation fund,” he asks.

Mishra and other victims have joined hands to forms an Association of Victims of Blue Line buses.

Says president Rajesh Verma, who was run over by a blue line bus in May 2005 and still carries a steel rod in his right thigh and a number of scars, “Creation of a special compensation fund is a good idea but like most government schemes, who can ensure its proper implementation?”

Verma says hospitalization expenses are the victim’s first need and not often met. “What is the point in fighting for compensation for 5-6 years and then getting it after another 2-3 years. When an FIRs is lodged, the insurance company should directly deal with hospitalization charges. Why can't this system be worked out?”

Not just Blueline accident victims, almost all road accident victims are fed up of “the system.” “Not just the drivers, the owners of the vehicles too should be punished,” says Anuradha Bhattacharya, mother of Sneha, who was killed in an accident in February 2008.

Adds, Anita, mother of Aniruddha Rawat, who was killed along with Sneha, “Compensation and other modalities can be worked out. But before that extremely stringent punishment is needed to reign in the killers.”