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BMC debates compensation for victims

mumbai Updated: Nov 27, 2010 01:06 IST
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Corporators feel that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should compensate those who suffer injuries after falling into open manholes.

Ashish Shelar, of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said it's time civic chief Swadheen Kshatriya is dragged to court under the Consumer Protection Act since such incidents amount to civic negligence. "Under this law, all victims should be compensated," said Shelar.

Mangesh Sangle, group leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, said it was the BMC's job to replace missing manhole covers. "If the BMC fails to do so, the resulting accidents amount to negligence," said Sangle. He said he would ask the BMC to formulate a policy on the matter.

Meanwhile, Worli corporator Parshuram Desai applied for ex-gratia help for the family of Tushar Jadhav (9), who died after falling into an open manhole in the area. His family lives in the Mariam Nagar slums.

Shailesh, Tushar's father, is an office assistant, while his mother Shanti is a domestic employee.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta said: "In such cases, where it's not the fault of the victim, the BMC should pay compensation."

When asked whether the BMC would formulate a compensation policy along the lines of the one recently approved for those injured by falling tree branches, Gupta said they would think about it.

Tushar's family, which is still in shock, has not yet made an official complaint or asked for compensation. "No one can return our child to us, but compensation would be of great help," said Shailesh.

The BMC has now covered the manhole with an iron sheet.