Enhance Compensation for Rail Mishap Victims: Parliamentary Panel

New Delhi: Noting that that compensation offered to the victims of railway accidents had remained static in the last 18 years, a Parliamentary Panel has called upon the Centre to enhance the amount payable to the victims.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, headed by former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, which is looking into the Railway (Amendment) Bill, 2014, asked the government to urgently examine the Railway Accidents and Untoward Incidents (Compensation) Amendment Rules, 1997, so as to enhance the amount of compensation payable to the victims.

It, further, said that the Railways should also ensure that all the Zonal Railways should devise appropriate mechanisms for expeditious payment of ex-gratia relief in case of passengers admitted to hospitals as a result of train accidents.

The Ministry of Railways in 2012 had revised the amount to Rs 50,000 for death, Rs 25,000 for grievous injury and Rs 5,000 for simple injury.

According to the Panel, “The Bombay High in a case had also expressed displeasure over the quantum of compensation paid by the Railways, taking into consideration inflationary trends and the diminishing value of the Rupee”.

Instead of taking effective steps to ensure the safety of the passengers, reducing the cases of accidents and overcrowding on trains, among others, the Railways has proposed the Railway (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which, the panel notes, is against the interests and concerns of the travelling public.

and was  appalled  to find  that,  as  on  January 31,  2015,  as  many  as  38,637  compensation  claims  are  pending.  The overall position of pending cases in respect of Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna Benches is alarming.

The  Committee  looked  into  the  aspect  of  the  total  number  of  compensation  claims  pending  in  different  Benches  of  the  Railway Claims  Tribunal (RCT) and was appalled to find that as many as 38,637 compensation claims were pending before various Benches of RCTs as on January 31. And the overall position of pending cases in respect of Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna Benches is alarming, the Panel noted.

Now, draw pension from your bank

The Centre has decided to transfer central freedom fighter pensioners from SBI to other banks – authorised for the purpose, for disbursal of pension after certain irregularities, including paying pension to more than 3,000 people for many years even after their death. MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said pensioners have been advised to open account in any bank of their choice from the 19 banks, authorised for the purpose