The West Bengal government will pay within 24 hours the compensation to families of those killed or injured in accidents and natural disasters, in a move described as “populist” by opposition leaders.
The money will be disbursed directly from the office of the district magistrate. A corpus of Rs four crore for each of the 23 districts has been created, said an official of the state disaster management department who did not wish to be named.
“Pain due to loss of life is irreparable. At least, we on our part, can ensure speedy disbursal of compensation,” said disaster management minister Javed Ahmed Khan.
The compensation will be Rs 5 lakh in case of deaths and Rs 1 lakh for severe injuries.
Compensation is paid in case of death and injury resulting from accidents, natural calamities such as floods, electrocution in public places, lightning and even death due to snake-bites.
Officers of the disaster management department will hold daily conferences with the district magistrates and district police superintendents and discuss death reports sent from different police stations.
“Once convinced that the death is because of accident or natural calamities, spot sanctions will be given by the department. Accordingly the district magistrate’s office will issue the compensation cheques immediately,” he said.
So far, the state government used to disburse compensation cheques within 72 hours of the mishap.
The target is now to shrink the time to 24 hours after the mishap.
Criticising the move, BJP Bengal unit general secretary Sayantan Basu said, “The taste of the pudding is in the eating. So many announcements have been made. Let the government implement this populist measure.”
Source: Hindustan Times