The Railways have offered ex-gratia payments on humanitarian grounds in cases of run overs in the past even though, technically, it defines run overs as “trespassing”. Sources said going by past instances, ex-gratia payment for the deaths of 16 migrant workers in Aurangabad was likely.
In Mumbai in 2017, the Elphinstone Bridge incident happened in which 23 were killed and 39 were injured. Railways had given ex-gratia of 5 lakh for death,1 lakh for serious injury and Rs 50,000 for simple injury.
As per rules, there is supposed to be track patrolmen to stop people from trespassing into the track or to get them moved from there or even flag such issues to the nearest station. This patrolling is to ensure the integrity of the track, for trains to pass without mishaps.
A comprehensive probe is underway to ascertain the circumstances that led to 16 people sleeping on the track especially which is being used by goods trains. Even though the incident happened between Badnapur and Karmad stations in what is defined as mid-section stretch, there is supposed to be someone from the team of local Permanent Way Inspector patrolling the “beat” to see that everything is fine with the track for trains to pass.
“Ram Kripal, Commissioner of Railway Safety, South Central Circle, will hold an independent inquiry in todays labourers runover incident in Parbhani-Manmad section of Nanded Railway division of South Central Railway,” Railway ministry announced.
There are instances of in level-crossing mishaps resulting in deaths in which, too, Railways has given ex-gratia payments.