Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Compensations to AIE crash victims a complicated process

Thiruvananthapuram: Even two months after the Air India Express flight crash at Kozhikode international airport in Kerala, a compensation announced by the Kerala government is not yet paid, while the compensation announced by the Centre is being clubbed with the compensation eligible for the deceased and survivors.

While Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh each to the dependents of the deceased and to meet the medical expenses of the injured, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced an interim relief of Rs.10 lakh to the dependents of the deceased, Rs. 2 lakh each to the injured and Rs. 50,000 each to those who suffered minor injuries. Puri had even specified that it would be over and above the other compensations like insurance.

But Air India Express has paid the interim reliefs in accordance with the one announced by the Civil Aviation Minister and maintained that it would be deducted from the final insurance settlements.

Nineteen passengers and two crew members were killed as the AIE flight from Dubai under the Vande Bharat mission skidded while landing at the Kozhikode international airport at Karippur in Malappuram district on August 7. The compensations were announced by Vijayan and Puri on the next day itself.

Nishi, the wife of a victim in the crash, Cherikkaparambil Rajeevan, of Baluserry in Kozhikode, told DH that Rs. 10 lakh has been received from Air India couple of weeks back and it was told that the amount would be deducted from the insurance amount. She also said that no other assistance either from the Centre of Kerala government has been received. They also maintained that the interim relief given by the airline was the one announced by the Union Minister only.

Renjith Panangad of Kasargod, who suffered injuries in the accident, said that he has only received Rs. 50,000 from Air India so far, apart from the airline authorities meeting the treatment expenses. There has been no information about any other compensations yet.

Malappuram district collector K Gopalakrishnan when contacted said that payments of the compensation announced by Kerala Chief Minister were pending as instructions were awaited by the government. Meanwhile, an official at the government secretariat said that the payment process is in the final stages and it would be disbursed soon.

An Air India Express spokesperson said that among the 19 dead, dependents of all adults were paid Rs. 10 lakh each and relatives of four children aged below 12 were paid Rs. 5 lakh each.

13/10/20 Arjun Raghunath/Deccan Herald

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