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Elphinstone Road stampede: Rail tribunal awards compensation to victims

The Railway Claims Tribunal in Mumbai has granted compensation to 36 victims of the stampede at the Elphinstone Road station here in September last year.

Relatives of the 17 deceased have been granted a compensation of Rs 8 lakh each while the 19 injured have been compensated as per their disability, an official said.

Twenty-three people lost their lives and 36 were injured in the stampede on the narrow bridge connecting the Elphinstone Road station of the Western Railway with Parel station of the Central Railway on September 29 last year.

K P Yadav, the registrar of the Railway Claims Tribunals principal bench in New Delhi, said the tribunals Mumbai bench awarded the compensation on Tuesday.

“Our Mumbai bench awarded the compensation to 36 stampede victims, including 17 deceased and 19 injured,” he said.

After the stampede, total 39 claims were filed, including 18 by the kin of the deceased and 21 by the injured people, before the tribunal in Mumbai.

Three cases, including one of a deceased person and two of the injured victims, could not be decided on Tuesday due to some technical grounds.

“These cases will also be decided soon,” Yadav said, adding that a final decree will soon be issued to the Western Railway.

He said this was the first time when neither the Railways nor the ministry concerned contested the claim.

“The most important thing in the settlement of these cases is that the claimants have been awarded the compensation without engaging their advocates. The tribunal also ensured that the victims did not face any hassles,” he said.

“Since neither the Railways nor the ministry contested the claims, the compensation could be awarded speedily,” he said.

After the stampede, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had visited the Elphinstone Road station and announced Rs 10 lakh compensation for the victims on behalf of the Railways.

The Maharashtra government had also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who has been following the issues of various railway accident victims, lauded the tribunal and expressed happiness that the order was pronounced within six months of the mishap.

“Considering the situation that the Railway Claims Tribunals have a backlog of six years, this compensation is quite appreciable, that too of up to Rs 8 lakh,” he said.

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