Cuttack: It has been nearly two months when Laxmipriya Das of Barang lost her husband to a hit-and-run mishap involving a yet to be identified vehicle. Thanks to the procedural wrangles and police laxity, Laxmipriya has been running from pillar to post for availing the compensation under the Solacium scheme since then.
In accordance with the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, the Supreme Court introduced Solacium scheme to extend assistance to the victims of hit-and-run case involving unidentified vehicle(s). Under the scheme, the state governments are required to set up a corpus for compensation. “As per the provisions, in case of loss of life, the next of kin is entitled to receive `2 lakh, while those who suffer critical injuries would get `50,000 as compensation,” an official at Regional Transport Office (RTO) here said.
About availing the benefit, the official said the victim/family is required to approach the RTO concerned with the required papers within six months of the mishap. The RTO would seek report of the mishap to the police station under whose jurisdiction the accident took place. Thereafter, the local tesildar would examine the legal heir before handing over the compensation amount.
Sources said the state government set aside `1 crore towards Solacium fund in May last year and the RTO here has received only one such claim in the past eight months.
Laxmipriya’s spouse Bimbadhar Das succumbed to a hit-and-run incident in Barang November 15. Subsequently, she approached the RTO seeking compensation from the Solacium fund.
It was November 20 when the RTO wrote to Barang police seeking details of the mishap. “However, Barang police did not turn up, prompting us to send a reminder to it December 28. We’re yet to receive any communication from them,” Dipti Ranjan Patra, a RTO official, said.
When asked, Barang IIC Sashikanta Rout feigned ignorance. “If the RTO had sent any such communiqué to us, we’ll definitely acknowledge it and do the needful. I’ll enquire about it,” Rout said.
Ignorance among the public and slackness of police in ensuring swift completion of formalities so as to make sure the benefits of the scheme reach the needy has dogged the noble purpose, it is alleged.