The Railways has decided to double the compensation paid to train accident victims from coming January, a little over a month after 140 passengers died in the Indore-Patna Express derailment.
According to a Railways notification, the immediate family of a passenger, who died in a train accident, will now get Rs 8 lakh instead of the earlier Rs 4 lakh. A passenger facing serious injuries like loss of limbs or facial disfigurement will also be paid Rs 8 lakh instead of Rs 4 lakh.
Payments in cases leading to amputation due to a shoulder injury have been hiked from the earlier Rs 3,60,000 to Rs 7,20,000 and from the earlier Rs 1,20, 000 to Rs 2,40,000 in the case of loss of thumb. The compensation amount for loss of two fingers of one hand has also been increased from Rs 80,000 to Rs 1, 60,000, the December 22 government notification states.
These reimbursements will be paid over and above the compensation of a maximum of `10 lakh given to the families of passengers opting for insurance cover for train travel.
The Railway Claims Tribunals (RCTs) awards financial compensation for 41 categories of injuries, including amputation at the hip and fracture of the spine, in a train mishap.
In a judgment relating to a public interest litigation filed by advocate Setu Niket last year, the Delhi high court had ruled that it was “obligatory” for the Centre to update the compensation amount by taking into consideration the substantial change in the money value and the impact it has caused in the cost of living.
The petition had stated that the Railways had not enhanced the compensation amount since 1994.
The Railways minister usually announces “ex-gratia” compensation to accident victims. This amount is sometimes adjusted with the final claim awards of the RCT, unless otherwise clarified in the notification. In the case of the Kanpur victims, the Railways Minister had made clear that the “ex-gratia” amount would be over and above the amount awarded by the RCT.