Even as the government expedited 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s execution after the president rejected his mercy plea, the state is dragging its feet over payment of amounts promised to the kin of four state-run hospital employees who died in the attack.
As per a government resolution dated December 1, 2008, families of the staffers from Cama hospital and GT hospital were to receive salaries that the deceased employees would have drawn up to their retirement. However, four years down the line, the four families are awaiting the salaries payable for 48 months.
The four women – Sushila Ughade (46), wife of Baban Ughade who was a security guard at Cama hospital; Sunanda Narkar (45), wife of Bhanu Narkar, also a security guard at the same hospital; Karuna Waghela (36), wife of Thakur Waghela, a cleaner at GT hospital and Sunanda Shinde (41), wife of Baban Shinde, a ward boy at GT hospital – have been running from pillar to post to get their rightful dues.
Sunanda Shinde says she finds it tough to make ends meet with her monthly salary of Rs6,000 as a hospital ayah. “I have two little children to raise. Compensation provided by the state for their education is locked in fixed deposits and like,” she told DNA. Her husband was shot outside CST on the night of the attack.
Sushila Ughade too said she finds it just as tough to tend to her family with her eldest son being the family’s only breadwinner. “My son has been given a ward boy’s job at a much lesser salary than what my husband earned,” she said. Baban was killed by Kasab and his accomplice at the hospital gate while on duty.
The cause of misery of these families is that the process of sanctioning of salaries is stuck in red tape. “The state medical education department is yet to process the files,” said a source in the state government.
The four families say they are tired of seeking answers from the state as to why the salaries payable have been held up.
In a blatant example of miscommunication between state-run hospitals and the state medical education department, the families are instead being paid a monthly pension of up to Rs2,000 instead of the monthly salaries running into tens of thousands of rupees that are due to them.
“A letter of appeal to implement the GR was sent by the hospital to state medical education department on August 7, 2011. It is a grave matter that the GR has not yet been implemented. Another letter of reminder will be sent to the department,” said medical superintendent of GT hospital Dr Jitendra Sankpal
Last year, the widows of the four deceased employees had approached Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan who had assured them that he would take up the matter with the chief minister, but nothing has been done yet.
When DNA met state medical education secretary IS Chahal, he refused to comment on the issue.