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After protests, BMC reviews tree-fall compensation

mumbai Updated: Sep 30, 2010 00:53 IST
Kunal Purohit
Kunal Purohit
Hindustan Times
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A day after Hindustan Times reported how the families of victims of tree collapses had called the civic body’s new compensation meagre, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said it would review the amount.

The civic body had, on Monday, announced a new policy meant to compensate victims of all tree collapses on civic roads.

As per the policy, the compensation will be of three kinds: Rs 1 lakh for the family of a victim killed, Rs 50,000 for victims who suffer permanent disability; and all medical expenses taken care of for those injured, provided they are treated in a civic hospital.

Hindustan Times had carried a series of reports highlighting how the civic body’s outdated tree-pruning mechanism killed two persons and grievously injured two others.

Reacting to HT’s report on Wednesday, additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “We realise that in comparison to the expenses incurred by families for the victims’ treatment, the amount in the policy sounds inadequate. We will study their cases and order compensation that will be more than the amount mentioned in the policy.”

Gupta said since the policy was new, it would take time to be completely formed.

“We will study all cases of such injuries caused by tree collapses since January and review the policy.”

He said compensation disbursement had already begun. “My officials visited 19-year-old Antara Telang and will also visit other victims to study their medical expenses. Considering the amount they’ve spent and would have to, in future, the situation will be viewed compassionately.”

On Tuesday, Anjani, the mother of Antara Telang who lost her leg when a branch fell on her, said, “We have spent Rs 2.5 lakh on her treatment.” As per the policy, Antara is entitled to a compensation of Rs 50,000.

In the case of Tamanna Bhojani’s (30), whose backbone was crushed when a tree branch tree fell on her, the policy is unclear about her compensation. “We’ll compensate her accordingly,” Gupta assured.