After a three-month long wait, the family of autorickshaw driver Rakeshkumar Gupta, 30, who died after a coconut tree in Vile Parle fell on him, received a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh from the civic body on Friday.
In its August 6 edition, HT had reported about how Gupta’s family including his seven months pregnant wife Radha, 21, and their one-year-old son, Sunny, were trying to make ends meet. Last month, Radha gave birth to a girl.
“Rakeshkumar was the only earning member of the family. We lost our son because of the civic body’s carelessness,” said Bachchalal Gupta, Radha’s father, who works as a driver.
“We got the compensation after following up with the local ward officials and making several rounds of the corporation office for nearly three months,” he added.
Since 2010, Hindustan Times has been running a campaign on how outdated tree-pruning mechanisms and civic negligence has endangered citizens’ lives. Following a series of reports, the civic body formed a policy on the issue and upgraded the machinery used for maintaining trees.
According to the compensation policy of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Rs1 lakh is given to the family of the deceased victim, and a maximum of Rs50,000 is offered in case of grievous injuries.
The family is now looking to raise funds from other sources or find Radha a job. “We are incurring additional expenses because of the birth of the second child. Though the civic body has granted us monetary compensation, we need a more sustainable option,” said Bachchalal.