The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) may appoint a claims commissioner for Mumbai Monorail, as suggested by the Commissioner of Rail Safety (CRS).
The commissioner will decide the claims in the eventuality of injured victims filing for compensation. “We are looking at making arrangements for appointing a claims commissioner. We have submitted a report to the state government with our plans on how we propose to comply with the CRS recommendations. The state government will have to appoint the commissioner,” said Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.
The Chembur-Wadala corridor has not had a claims commissioner since it began its operation in 2014. However, in its recommendations the CRS has mandated the appointment of the claims commissioner. “At present there is no claims commissioner for the Mumbai Monorail System to decide the claims, in the eventuality of injured passenger(s) filing such a claim for payment of suitable compensation. Though the Tramways Act does not provide for posting of a claims commissioner, unlike in the Metro Railway Act, or for payment of any compensation to a passenger(s) injured during an accident/incident while travelling in the monorail, such a possibility cannot be ruled out. Monorail Administration/ state government may consider nominating a magistrate as claims commissioner for this purpose,” the CRS has noted.
Currently, the contractor is expected to compensate passengers in case of any injury at par with the compensation offered by the Indian Railways. However, there has been no claim for compensation until now.
“According to the agreement between the contractor and the MMRDA in case of any injury the compensation has to be based on the Section 124 (A) of the Indian Railways Act. The payment is covered by the insurance company of the contractor. This is the same system followed by Delhi Metro as well. A claim commissioner is generally appointed when there is no contractor involved. Here it is not really necessary,” said a senior MMRDA official.