Civic ward officials, along with contractors, will now be held responsible for accidents caused due to civic negligence like open manholes, craters, potholes on roads and construction work not being fenced off properly.
Minister of state for urban development Bhaskar Jadhav told the state assembly that in civic negligence cases, ward officers would be held liable for accidents causing death and for serious injuries caused to citizens and made to pay compensation for the same.
He stated this in his reply to a question raised by city legislators across party lines including BJP’s Gopal Shetty, Yogesh Sagar, Congress’s Kripashankar Singh, Ashok Jadhav about civic work being carried out in Mumbai proving to be dangerous to its citizens, with many suffering serious injury and even death by falling into open craters on roads and due to repair work on storm water drainage, etc, not being fenced off properly.
In a written reply to the question, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan admitted that there had been two fatal accidents due to civic negligence this year. In both cases, contractors had been penalised by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and compensation had been sought from the contractor for the victim’s families by the high court.
However, legislators said unless BMC officials were made responsible for such accidents, they would not supervise civic work sincerely and ensure safeguards.
Given the legislators’ aggressive stance, Jadhav said individual ward officers where such accidents occurred would be held responsible.
Officials along with contractors will be made liable for compensation to the victims, he added.
The BMC was looking at drafting a compensatory policy for victims of civic negligence on the lines of the compensation granted to victims of tree falling incidents.