CR pays Rs 30 cr accident claims, gets back none
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The Central Railway (CR) has been paying compensation in train mishap cases, but insurance firms are stalling reimbursement of Rs 30 crore citing lack of proof that the victims were bonafide passengers. Following orders of the Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT), CR has paid Rs 30 crore in 861 cases but absence of tickets had not come in the way, with the tribunal concluding tickets could have been lost or were not available at the time of the accidents.
CR is awaiting payment from three insurance firms. United India Assurance Co. Ltd has not paid 17.85 crore in 531 cases (July 1, 1994 to July 31,2006), Reliance India Insurance Co Ltd owes Rs 4.66 crore in 137 cases (September 20, 2006 to September 19, 2007) and ICICI Lombard Rs 7.06 lakh in 193 cases (September 20,2007 to September 19,2008).
The agreement with the railways states: "This policy will cover all railway passengers holding a valid ticket, railway pass or platform ticket; railway men on duty, children below five years travelling with bonafide ticket holders, pass-holders...platform ticket holders in waiting halls, cloak rooms, booking offices, railway platforms or any other place within the precincts of railway station at material time of accident /untoward incident."
Samata Patil Keer, corporate communications manager for Reliance Insurance, said via email that the company has been expeditiously paying claims to the Railways, and the pending claims could pertain to cases where further evidence is needed. "Last financial year, RGIC paid 657 claims amounting to Rs 24.15 crore to the Railways. Since claim payment is an ongoing process, depending on time taken by the tribunal, it is our endeavour to continue paying claims as per the contract. In some cases, documents received by us are incomplete or claims sought are outside the insurance contract. In such cases, we seek supporting documents before payment is released. The pending cases mentioned by CR may relate to such cases," Keer said.
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