Four months after the blast, there is finally hope that the German Bakery will be restored. The owners got a compensation of Rs. 14 lakh from the Maharashtra government on Sunday.
The cheque was handed over to the Kharose family by Pune Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar in the presence of Divisional Commissioner Dilip Band and Collector Chandrakant Dalvi.
Smita Kharose told The Hindu that she was happy that the State government had given them their due. “I wasn't expecting anything and this has come as a surprise. But I am happy about this,” she said.
Earlier, the compensation claim was refused as a part of the bakery was on government-owned land. But later it was taken up as a special case. Ms. Kharose said the family was thankful to Mr. Pawar and Mr. Dalvi for their efforts in getting the compensation. The exact amount on the cheque is Rs. 14,23,500.
On February 13, 17 people were killed and many more injured in the blast. The bakery was completely destroyed. “I will try to make full use of the money, although we will need at least Rs. 25 lakh for the entire renovation. But something is better than nothing,” she said.
The family plans to take a loan from a national bank for the renovation. Ms. Kharose said the work would start in the next few weeks and they were hoping to reopen the bakery by August 15.
It is going to be new and different but we will obviously keep the spirit of the German Bakery the same. I don't want to disclose much now because I want people to be curious about it till we reopen,” she explained. The staff will mostly remain the same.
Ram Gopal Karkee, manager of the bakery, said: “We are waiting for it to open again.”