The State government and the State Transport Undertakings (STU) are proposing to create a fund for the speedy settlement of claims of victims of road accidents in which buses of the STUs are involved.

The total contribution to the proposed fund will be Rs. 40 crore annually. Both the government and the STUs will contribute Rs. 20 crore each.

Senior government officials explain that the rationale behind the move is to facilitate swift settlement of the claims made by victims or their legal heirs through Lok Adalats concerned. This will reduce prolonged litigation. In respect of those who are willing to settle the claims through the Lok Adalats, the government is contemplating providing compensation liberally.

At present, the STUs have to set apart Rs. 100 crore annually for the claim settlement. This has not been found sufficient. This is why the government is stepping in to provide the Rs. 20-crore contribution every year.

The officials add that insurance companies in the country are generally not prepared to provide insurance cover to vehicles of the STUs.

Besides, the government has also decided to make a one-time allotment of Rs. 25 crore for the purpose of claim settlement.

One of the officials says that the accident rate of STU vehicles, accounting for 20,000, is 0.11 per lakh km. On an average, 1,400-1,500 persons die annually.

Keywords: road accident