Will take up Mangalore crash compensation with centre: Chandy

March 6th, 2012 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, March 6 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Tuesday informed the state assembly that he would take steps to speed up the disbursal of compensation to families of the victims of the 2010 Mangalore air crash.

The chief minister said this in response to a submission by CPI-M legislator K. Kunhiraman, who pointed out that the counsel for Air India was trying to reach an out-of-court settlement with the kin of those killed in the May 2010 disaster.

“Of the 158 killed, 58 are Keralites of whom 40 hail from Kasargode district and 17 from my constituency. Though the Kerala High Court ruled that they should be given compensation as per international rules, counsel for the airline is trying to influence the victim’s relatives and trying to ask them to reach an out-of-court settlement, and this is not fair,” said Kunhiraman.

The ill-fated aircraft, coming from Dubai, shot off the runaway after landing, killing 158 passengers and crew members. There were eight survivors.

Chandy clarified that his government has said many times that the compensation has to be under international aviation rules.

“Of the 70 cases where compensation has been fully settled, it was done on the basis of the Montreal Convention and as per the 1972 Carriage by Air Act. In the 70 cases, Rs.60.44 crore compensation was given. In seven cases, since there was a dispute between the family members of the victims, only partial settlement has taken place. I have taken up this issue in the past and once again I will take up this issue with the centre,” said Chandy.

Kunhiraman also brought to the attention of the house that compensation was being calculated on the basis of the age of the victims and the jobs they held, which he said was not fair.

So far the state government has given Rs.3 lakh each while the central government has paid Rs.2 lakh each to the families of all the 158 victims. “I once again assure the house that steps would be initiated at the highest level to see that the compensation is given as per international laws and at the earliest,” said Chandy.

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