The nine-day rescue operation in the building collapse of a unit of Shital Fibres at the Focal Point Area was well appreciated, but a question looms. Who will bear the cost?
The operation used the services of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army, the district administration, the police and volunteers, apart from heavy machinery, powered by diesel. Apart from hundreds of trucks, excavators, big cranes and CB machines, were pressed into rescue operation round the clock.
The district administration paid the cost of more than 15,000 litres of diesel, apart from other necessities like food, water and logistics for the rescue team.
After including the cost of the manpower of different departments like health, police and municipal corporation, expenses of the entire rescue operation comes to about Rs 5 crore, sources in various civic departments told HT.
As the building collapsed allegedly due to negligence of Shital Vij, the owner of the industrial unit, who violated all building byelaws, the cost of rescue operation should be recovered from him, sources said.
They added that even the compensation to the deceased, announced by the state government, should be borne by the owner only.
When contacted, deputy commissioner, Priyank Bharti, being 'generous' to Shital Vij said that there was no norm in government policy, under which the expenses incurred on rescue operation, could be recovered from owner of building, where mishap took place.
"We get money for such rescue operations from chief minister's relief fund. It is up to the state government to decide whether the cost of operation should be recovered from the person, allegedly responsible for the disaster," he added.
Relief arrives; heirs' identification on
Jalandhar: The district administration has received the grant for distributing compensation among the victims of building collapse in Focal Point Area on April 15, deputy commissioner Priyank Bharti has said.
The DC added he had already written to the respective district magistrates (DMs) of the districts in Bihar and other states, from where the deceased hailed, to get information on their legal heirs.
"I have already written to DMs. The message is also being sent though e-mail and fax, so that we can hand over the compensation cheques to the legal heirs of the deceased," said Priyank Bharti, deputy commissioner.
"The administration must ensure that the compensation is handed over only to the legal heirs," the DC said.