Vadodara: In what could be described as a setback to Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) plan to restart the boating facility on Lake Sursagar, a consumer rights activist has raised safety concerns about the project .
Activist PV Moorjhani issued an advisory to VMC expressing concerns over the lack of safety and compensation guidelines.
Moorjhani asked the civic organization to specify the amount of compensation to be paid to victims in the event of an accident during the nautical activity.
âThe VMC has stated that if an accident occurs while sailing, the contractor will be responsible. The civic organization tries to escape its responsibility by shifting the responsibility to the entrepreneur, âMoorjhani told TOI.
âIn 1993, 22 Barodians died when a boat capsized in Lake Sursagar. Even then, the VMC had stated that the contractor was responsible for paying the compensation. We had contacted the Supreme Court which had asked the VMC to deposit the amount of compensation first with the National Consumer Commission, then to recover it from the insurance company â, declared Moorjhani, administrator. delegate of Jagrut Nagrik Grahak Mandal.
âThe court also asked the VMC to issue clear safety guidelines. Despite the SC’s verdict, the VMC once again attempts to shift all the blame onto the contractor. I have asked the civic body to announce a certain amount to be paid as compensation in the event of injury or death resulting from a boating accident, âadded Moorjhani.
On August 11, 1993, major tragedy struck when a boat carrying 38 people capsized in Lake Sursagar.
The boat, with a capacity of 20 people, was overloaded. The case reached the National Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission, where VMC was charged with negligence. The civic organization had argued that the insurance company is responsible for the compensation.
But the SC also rejected VMC’s claims and asked the civic body to deposit the compensation amount first.
“If the VMC is not clear on the issue of compensation and does not declare the safety measures it plans to take, I will go to court,” Moorjhani said.