Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who visited the Garib Nagar slums on Sunday, has announced a compensation amount of Rs25,000 each for the affected families. “Apart from the compensation announced by the government, the affected families, about 1,300 of them, will be given Rs 25,000 per family from the chief minister’s relief fund,” Chavan said.
Home minister RR Patil, who also visited the 1.4-acre slum on Sunday, has referred the case to the crime branch of Mumbai police. “Considering that the fire was huge and there is a rumor of foul play, I have decided to refer this case to the crime branch. There are complaints that the fire brigade reached the spot a bit late, this will also be looked at by the crime branch,” said Patil.
Chavan also announced setting up of a rehabilitation committee under the chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad to look into the matters of compensation, rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Garib Nagar slum area, which is adjacent to the Bandra (E) station.
The government had announced a compensation of Rs1,000 up to Rs5,000 per affected family, for which collector Nirmalkumar Deshmukh had already sent a team to this area and which has already begun the process of verification. This amount was being offered as an ex-gratia amount, which is the initial upfront amount given to victims. “I have also asked for a committee to be set up for permanent rehabilitation of those affected in Friday’s mishap. The committee will be headed by chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad and will consist of people’s representatives, representatives from the Railways, civic body and Mumbai suburban collectorate,” Chavan added. The committee will ensure that every affected person receives the announced compensation and every displaced family is rehabilitated.
On Saturday, social activist Medha Patkar, said, “This is a prime piece of land and anyone can ignite it for their benefit.”