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Govt's top award for firemen bravery: Rs 100

D P Satish | dp_satish

Updated: April 19, 2011, 1:22 PM IST
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Govt's top award for firemen bravery: Rs 100
85 fire dept personnel who worked for 5 days at the Mangalore crash site to get cash reward of Rs 100 each.

New Delhi: How much reward does a fire fighter get for one of the most difficult relief and rescue operations in recent times? That too in a major air crash, the worst in a decade. Karnataka government thinks that Rs 100 is the best reward!

The 85 fire department personnel who worked non stop for 12 hours and remained at the crash site for 5 days have got certificates with an instruction to collect a cash reward of Rs 100 each from district treasury in Mangalore.

Air India Express IC 812 from Dubai to Mangalore crashed at Mangalore airport while landing in the early morning on May 22, 2010. The flight caught fire immediately after it veered off the table top run way and fell into a deep gorge. The first batch of Fire department personnel reached the crash site in just 20 minutes and doused the fire. They also rescued 6 passengers. More personnel reached the spot from different parts of Mangalore and Udupi in an hour.

Fire fighters with the help of local police and villagers retrieved all 158 dead bodies from the burning flight. Of total 85 personnel, most of them remained there for 5 days.

The Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa who had visited the crash site had announced a 'suitable' reward to all police and fire personnel for their exemplary work. Finally the reward has reached them after 11 long months.

The fire fighters feel that the government has insulted them by giving them a paltry Rs 100 each. Some feel that the government should have revised archaic rules, which permit it to sanction a reward as low as Rs 100 even in 2011. Top officials of the Karnataka fire department plead helplessness by citing old, meaningless rules. The fire fighters who are at the receiving end of 'reward' don't want to talk fearing the ire of their bosses.

Time to wake up and discard such humiliating rewards.

First Published: April 19, 2011, 1:22 PM IST
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