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Red tape delays compensation for un-lucky victims' families

After a building collapse killed their loved ones, relatives and family members have to bear the pain of waiting for the compensation amount, as the disbursal is delayed due to slow government procedures. On April 4, the building in Lucky Compound at Mumbra came crashing down, killing 74 and injuring several others. After the tragedy, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased.


Haseena Bibi with her four surviving children

But since most residents of the structure were migrants, the Thane district collector’s office has to verify the identity of their family members, from their district of origin. A senior official from the Thane district collector’s office told this paper, “Almost every person who died in the building collapse was not a native of Maharashtra. In fact, seven people were citizens of Nepal.


Two of the three children Bibi lost in the collapse

As a matter of protocol, we had to write to the respective collectors’ offices where the deceased hailed from, asking for the claimants’ identification. However, we have yet not received any response for the 28 relatives of the victims. Hence, we cannot give them the compensation money.” Among the 74 who died, five persons were unidentified while seven others hailed from Nepal. So far, 34 people have received the compensation after the Thane collector office received a verification of their identity from their respective native collectors’ offices.


An aerial view of the Lucky compound building after it collapsed. File Pic

According to the list (copy available with MiD DAY), of the 28 who died, eight are children below 10 years of age. The official also suggested, “The families could probably take a step forward and go to the district collector’s office of their native place. They can request them to speed up the process, mainly because it involves a large sum.” Haseena Bibi, who lost three of her children aged six, five and one-and-a-half years, said that she had been regularly following up with the collector’s office at Thane, hoping to get the due sum of Rs 6 lakh.

“I lost three of my children, while four other managed to survive. Two among the four survivors suffered serious injuries and are still unable to walk properly. The physical wounds may heal but the mental pain won’t. In these difficult times, where the cost of living is so high, the money will help us pay rent and also lead better lives,” she said.

Officialspeak
Thane District Collector P Velrasu said, “We are corresponding with the district magistrates of the respective districts in other states. Besides this, we are also going to request the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra to write to other State Chief Secretaries to expedite the matter at their end.”

Most victims are from Uttar Pradesh
Of the 28 whose families have still not been compensated, the majority are from Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh: 14
Jharkhand: 7
Bihar: 3
Karnataka: 2
Andhra Pradesh: 1
Tamil Nadu:

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