A year of after three blasts ripped through Mumbai, some of the victims and their families have still not received complete compensation, reports A Ganesh Nadar
How long will the compensation last? This seems to be the common grouse of victims of terror or the kin of those who fell prey to it. But, what about those who have not received the due aid at all?
For, the Jaiswals life came to a standstill on the evening of July 13, 2011. The family lost its sole breadwinner Arun Chotelal Jaiswal at Zaveri Bazaar in the triple blasts that rocked Mumbai killing 26 people. A paanwala, he is survived by his ageing parents, wife and son.
A year on, not much has changed for the family. They find it difficult to make ends meet and what's worse is that they have still not received the complete compensation promised by the government after last year's tragedy.
The Jaiswal family received Rs 5 lakh from the Maharashtra government, but the wait seemed endless. The problem -- Arun's parents and his wife had both claimed the compensation. Owing to this confusion, the government refused to hand over the money till a compromise was worked out and sought the intervention of the Mumbai collector.
Arun's parents received 1/3rd of the compensation, his wife and son the remaining cash months after the tragedy, as the collector classified the latter as Class I heirs.
Apart from the Rs 5 lakh that the state government paid to the family, it also received Rs 2 lakh from the Centre.
Also, the state government has announced a special compensation of Rs 3 lakh that will be paid to families who have lost their breadwinners in blasts. The Jaiswals have yet to receive this sum and theirs is not an isolated case. Of the 26 victims, families of only 15 have received this additional sum.
Among the victims, four hailed from Thane and their families too did not receive the compensation. There was some confusion since they were not based in Mumbai. Only recently the government has given a go ahead to dispense this money.
Six families of victims from other states can also stake their claim for the compensation meant for those who lost their breadwinners. But the process is cumbersome.
They can apply for this compensation but only if the district collector approves that the deceased was a breadwinner. The request will be then forwarded to the Mumbai collector, who will process the payment through the local collector.
The state government had announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh for those seriously injured in the blast and another Rs 1 lakh was given from the Centre. However, victims are not aware that if this Rs 2 lakh was not sufficient they can apply for more money.
Mumbai's JJ Hospital alone has the authority to decide if the victim requires more money and this is then paid by the Centre.
Deepak Londe, a tehsildar who recently retired, told rediff.com, "Most people were admitted to hospitals near the blast site. A few people got themselves admitted to other hospitals as they felt they would not get personal attention. Their names were not in our first list of victims."
"They have not received any compensation and they have approached the government later. We are checking with the police and hospital records to confirm their injuries. Once this process is over we will certainly pay the compensation due to them," he added.