On an average, 80,000 people either lose their lives or are seriously injured in hit and run cases every year.
In a written reply to a question by BJD’s Anubhav Mohanty in the Lok Sabha this week, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said that about Rs 12 crore has been paid for 5,036 cases between April 2017 and February this year. Government sources admitted that the trend of Compensation Payments in hit-and-run cases have been a “matter of concern” over the years and require immediate attention.
Hit-and-run cases are those in which the police are unable to identify the offender vehicle or its owner and hence the compensation in such cases is paid from the solatium fund of the government. Earlier, Rs 25,000 was given from this fund for each death and Rs 12,500 for grievous injuries.
In the amended Motor Vehicles Act, this compensation has been increased eight-fold – to Rs 2 lakh in case of death and Rs 50,000 in case of grievous injuries – and the new rule comes into effect from April 2022. Figures provided by the ministry show that between April 2022 and February 2023, claims have been paid in 72 death cases and only six injury cases. The government has paid Rs 1.47 crore as compensation during the current financial year.
According to the “Compensation Scheme for Hit and Run Motor Accident Victims” notified in 2022, such victims and their family members should get the compensation in less than three months and the amount should be transferred online. To meet the compensation requirement, the government has created the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund.
Sources said the government is now planning to rectify the issues as a result of which some victims and their families may apply for compensation.