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'Rs 50, 000 not enough for injured'

Press Trust of India

Posted: Jul 21, 2006 at 1716 hrs IST

Financial aid of Rs 50,000 each to those permanently disabled in the July 11 Mumbai blasts is hardly enough compensation to overcome grief or start a new life, feels Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.

"My vists to hospitals in the aftermath of the 7/11 blasts brought out several cases where the blasts had seriously impaired the victims capacity to earn a livelihood," Deora, who represents Mumbai in the Lok Sabha, said.

"I met a 'pani-puri' vendor boy who lost both his legs in the blasts. He may never be able to do the same business and the Rs 50,000 compensation paid to the injured is too little to make up for that," he said.

Deora said he has written to Railway Minister Laloo Prasad demanding ex-gratia relief to the over 700 injured in proportion to incapacitation suffered by them.

"I am sure that the extent of incapacitation would be a valid consideration in working out the scale of ex-gratia relief package, which the Railway Ministry is implementing and would also be material in deciding the extent of claim/ compensation under other statutory enactments," he wrote to Laloo Prasad on July 19.

While over 200 people were killed, more than 700 were injured in seven blasts in first class compartments of local trains at Matunga, Mahim, Khar, Santa Cruz, Jogeshwari, Borivali and Bhayander in the metropolis on July 11.

Deora in his letter raised the need to ‘focus on the long term issues facing victims who have suffered total incapacitation and other injuries which have seriously impaired their capacity to earn a livelihood’.

Deora, in the letter, also praised the Railway Ministry for responding in a ‘professional and sensitive manner to the terrorist attacks’.

"As a member of Parliament from the city of Mumbai, I am happy to communicate to you the satisfactory progress being made in the relief and rehabilitation work of the victims of this terrorist attack," he wrote.

He said the Maharasthra Red Cross Society and public sector oil retailing firms headquartered in Mumbai would actively coordinate with Railway authorities and state government to ensure that relief and rehabilitation reached the families of victims and survivors.

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