BMC told to compensate pothole accident victim

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MUMBAI: Corporators, cutting across party lines, have demanded that the civic authority compensate the Bandra woman who fell from a bike on a cratered road and slipped into coma. They have also demanded a compensation policy for those who are victims of civic negligence.

Corporators raised the two issues to highlight how shoddy road work can put citizens’ lives at risk during BMC’s standing committee meeting on Wednesday.

Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh assured members that he would look into the agreement clause between BMC and contractors, which states that the latter must compensate victims of accidents caused by civic negligence. The authorities are deciding on how to compensate the Bandra woman, said Deshmukh.

Congress corporator Asif Zakaria pointed out that lack of barricades at Mahim Causeway led to the accident of Chapel Road resident Marilyn Remedios who sustained serious injuries. Marilyn along with her husband Sheldon were on their way to Dadar station on their bike, when it hit a pothole and the couple was flung off the vehicle. Marilyn was admitted to a private hospital where she is still in coma. Sheldon is struggling to arrange medical expenses for his wife’s treatment.

BMC is currently repairing the road.

Shiv Sena corporator and leader of the house, Trishna Vishwasrao, said it is common knowledge that engineers do not supervise road work nor ensure that contractors put up barricades properly before they start work. She asked that a policy be framed to help such victims in future.

BJP corporator Vinod Shelar spoke of speed-breakers. A biker suffered a fracture after hitting an unmarked speed-breaker at Santa Cruz last week. Shelar said the mandatory black-and-white stripes on speed-breakers disappear in a few days and no one bothers to repaint them; this leads to serious accidents.

A senior BMC officer said a police case is a must after such an accident to fix accountability. He said it will help BMC pressurize contractors pay for negligence and compensate the victim.

Former municipal councilor Vinod Shekar reportedly plans to lead a protest against BMC authorities and the ruling party of MCGM regarding the deteriorating conditions of roads and footpaths of Mumbai, which have caused serious injuries and even death in some cases.

The protest will take place at Azad Maidan, opposite BMC headquarters on Friday, April 17, at 4.30pm.

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