BENGALURU: The family of a driver involved in an accident will get compensation of Rs 5 lakh, compared to Rs 2 lakh earlier. This is one among a slew of changes proposed by the Karnataka State Unorganised Worker Social Security Board as part of the Private Vehicles Transport Workers’ Accident Benefit Scheme, in a report to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa last month.
The report, approved by the labour department recently, says the compensation includes educational assistance for children studying between Grade I and PU II. The amount provided to a child will be Rs 10,000, and at least two children will be able to apply for financial assistance.
As per data from the transport department, there are 7.78 lakh commercial drivers in Karnataka. Last year, the department had given Rs 92 lakh in compensation to 83 drivers in Karnataka. Five cases were rejected. “Several drivers have not been able to receive their compensation either because the drivers themselves have not renewed their licences, which is for a period of three years,” said a source in the department.
There have also been cases where applications received by the department included death of the driver due to various other reasons, such as murder or natural death. “In these cases, we reject the application and make it clear that they can apply only for road accidents. Either the wife, children or parents can apply for compensation. Siblings don’t count here,” the source said.
Until last year, tenders were called and insurance companies would cover the compensation amount. However, the amount will be given directly to the families from the department this year. In the 2019-2020 budget, the department received Rs 6.66 crore in provisions. This year, trucks and buses alone have been involved in over 400 road accidents in Bengaluru city, according to data from the Bengaluru Traffic Police.