It has been four years since the 26/11 terror attacks and the state has been dragging it’s feet in paying the rightful dues to families of the government employees who lost their lives then.
On December 1, 2008, the state revenue department had issued a government resolution (GR) instructing that families of such state employees should continue to be paid the salaries of their deceased kin. Despite repeated reminders by authorities of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) that families of the deceased hospital staffers be paid their dues, it came to fore on Friday that the state medical education department failed to implement the GR.
“Three consecutive letters — sent on September 30 and December 1 in 2011 and later on January 24 this year — notified the department, asking them to start paying the salaries of the deceased staffers to the families. The letters also mentioned that the staffers be given the status of martyrs as they, too, had sacrificed their lives like policemen during the attacks,” a senior DMER official said.
Despite of the GR having been issued within a week of the attacks, four widows of deceased staffers from the state-run Cama and GT hospitals feel they were given a raw deal.
Implementing the GR would have gotten the widows between Rs3,000 and Rs18,000 a month, but the department has only been giving them a pension of maximum Rs2,000 a month the past four years. “My husband was shot after serving few glasses of water to the terrorists who came knocking at our shanty behind GT Hospital. In the DMER-issued letters, it is clearly mentioned that our husbands are martyrs. Why then is the state not paying us what we rightfully deserve?” asked Karuna, widow of deceased GT Hospital staffer Thakur Waghela.
State medical education minister Vijaykumar Gavit remained unavailable for comment and medical education secretary IS Chahal refused to comment.