The railways have disbursed over Rs 22 crore to those affected by last year’s train bombings.
Explosions in the first class compartments of seven local trains during the evening rush hour killed 186 and injured hundreds on July 11, 2006.
“This was one such case where the Railways itself were victims of international terrorism and still overcame the attack to help victims,” said Western Railways Chief Public Relations Officer Pranai Prabhakar.
The railways disbursed an ex gratia amount of Rs 12.33 crore to the families of the 186 deceased and to the over 800 victims who received injuries, he said.
“The Western Railways spent Rs 3.6 crore on medical bill reimbursements of victims in various hospitals and the Railway Claims Tribunal (an independent body to settle railway claims) disbursed Rs 6.9 crore while disposing off 211 of the 513 cases,” he said.
In fact, even a year on, two victims are still in hospital — the railways are paying Hinduja and Jaslok hospitals to treat Parag Sawant and Amit Singh.
Incidentally, nobody has come forward to claim 15 cheques offering ex-gratia amounts ranging from Rs 5,000-50,000. “We tried to call them (victims), went to their homes and made enquiries, but these victims are not traceable. We are now issuing advertisements in newspapers announcing their names and details,” Prabhakar said.
Besides compensation, the railways offered jobs to all the next of kin of the deceased and to those who suffered 70 per cent disability as a result of the blasts. For the 186 dead, the railways received 135 applications. Of these, 54 now work with the railways and 15 have expressed their disinterest in the offer, he said.
As for those who did not fit the disability criteria for jobs, Prabhakar said: “The disability percentage is decided by a medical team on the basis of the Workmen’s Compensation Act and not on railway rules.”