Dead Haryana pilgrims` kin seek remaining compensation
Family members of 20 `kanwarias` from Gurgaon are annoyed with Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda for allegedly not keeping his word on paying Rs.2 lakh each from his funds for the pilgrims` deaths in a road accident in 2010.
Gurgaon: Family members of 20 `kanwarias` from Gurgaon are annoyed with Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for allegedly not keeping his word on paying Rs.2 lakh each from his funds for the pilgrims` deaths in a road accident in 2010.
"Hooda, while visiting the Baghanki village, assured us of all possible help, including jobs for the widows of the deceased and a sports stadium in the memory of pilgrims, but nothing much was done to fulfil the commitments," Kanwar Singh, a villager, told IANS.
While the victims` kin have received Rs.1 lakh each from Hooda`s government, they accuse the chief minister of forgetting his promise of giving Rs.2 lakh each for the accident deaths in Uttarakhand.
Apart from the Rs.1 lakh received from the state government, each victim got Rs.1 lakh under a federal scheme for road accident victims. The families now want the chief minister to release another Rs.1 lakh each to them.
Relatives of some victims, all of them from Baghanki, 26 km from the district headquarters, claimed they were facing hardships for earning a livelihood as they lost their main bread winners in the incident.
Sardara Singh, another Baghanki villager, lost his four grandsons July 30, 2010 when the truck ferrying them fell into a 150-metre deep gorge at Dabrani in Uttarakhand`s Uttarkashi district. All victims in the accident were aged under 25 years.
Sube Singh`s son Pawan, 23, died in the incident. Pawan is survived by his wife Rajni and two children.
"Rajni, who had studied till high school, applied for job in Anganwadi for helper but was rejected," Sube Singh complained.
"Mahavir Singh, a small farmer and motor mechanic, lost his both sons - Vinod Kumar, 23, and Jagmal Singh, 25," said Rohtash Singh, a Baghanki villager.
Vinod`s widow Poonam managed to get a helper`s job in Anganwadi and was now the sole earning member of the family.
Lal Chand`s two sons - Madan, 20, and Kuldeep, 18, - also died in the accident and the family survives on a small piece of agriculture land.
Two victims` widows left their husbands` families after receiving compensation cheques amounting Rs.2 lakh each and shifted to their parental houses.
Krishana Devi, village head of Baghanki, also moaned the delay in building the stadium promised by Hooda.
"We had handed over six acres of land to the district administration for stadium and are waiting for government`s response," she said.
Kewal Dhingra, media advisor to Hooda, while talking to IANS, said: "We will be able to say something on the issue only after speaking with chief minister."
Such has been the impact of the incident on the minds of Baghanki villagers that even three years after the accident, none from there or the surrounding villages has dared to go on the pilgrimage to the Ganges river in Uttarkhand and bringing back the holy water to offer prayers at their village, said a Baghanki villager.