Andheri rail bridge collapse: Sole breadwinner's kin seek compensation

Aug 02, 2018, 16:06 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Family says it will demand a sum commensurate with Manoj Mehta's current income and his expected life span

Andheri rail bridge collapse: Sole breadwinner's kin seek compensation
Manoj Mehta with his mother, wife and daughters aged 12 and 24

EXCLUSIVE>>With the demise of Vile Parle resident Manoj Mehta, 52, from injuries sustained in the Andheri bridge collapse, on Sunday, his family members not only lost a son, husband and father, but also their breadwinner. While they have been given a compensation of R5 lakh by railway authorities, as promised, the kin have asked for the sum to be equivalent to his yearly income tax return, as they were dependent on his earnings.

They are going to approach the Railway Claims Tribunal seeking that amount, which they have not disclosed. The 52-year-old CA is survived by his mother, wife, and two daughters aged 12 and 24. His elder daughter Yashasvi was set to go to Canada for her further studies but has put her plans on hold to support her family. The railways has also assured Mehtas it will pay Manoj's R60 lakh medical bill at Nanavati Hospital.

On July 3, while Mehta was waiting on platform number 8, the ROB collapsed and a heavy slab fell on his back, causing him grievous injuries. File pic
On July 3, while Mehta was waiting on platform number 8, the ROB collapsed and a heavy slab fell on his back, causing him grievous injuries. File pic

Take into consideration
His brother Rajesh said, “My brother had his own construction company at Palghar and was earning well. We've decided to approach the Tribunal, seeking compensation equivalent to the amount of the income tax return filed by him. We feel that he died at a young age. Hence, we would ask them to provide the compensation taking into consideration the number of years he would have lived, so that the family won't have to worry about survival.”

Manoj got injured in the collapse on July 3 while he was on his way to work. He was waiting for his usual 7.38 am Dahanu train at Andheri station's platform 8, when the bridge collapsed and a heavy slab fell angularly on his back, causing grievous injuries. He underwent treatment at Nanavati Hospital for three weeks, but succumbed to his injuries on Sunday night. The hospital has given the bill but, so far, not sought a single penny from the family.

Manoj's wife Sonal requested the railways to focus on developing the current railway infrastructure rather than spending on the bullet train. “My husband used to travel on the same route every day, but we never knew that a healthy man could die so suddenly due to the negligence of the government.”

Would knock on court's door
Rajesh said, “If the police and authorities concerned don't take proper steps, we will move court. But we want justice for Manoj. However, I must say that the railway authorities were extremely responsive and helpful while Manoj was admitted in hospital.” When mid-day contacted Ravinder Bhakar, WR chief PRO, he said, “The Tribunal is a semi-judicial body which doesn't come under WR, so we cannot comment on it.”

Rs 5 lakh
Compensation given to the family by railway authorities

Rs 60 lakh
Manoj Mehta's medical bill after three weeks in Nanavati Hospital

What is the Railway Claims Tribunal?
The Railway Claims Tribunal was established under the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987, and came into force from November 8, 1989, to expeditiously provide compensation to the victims of rail accidents and commuters who have lost goods or damaged them while travelling on trains.

Also read: Andheri bridge collapse: One more person succumbs to his injuries

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