Chandigarh: Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the Dussehra event when the accident occurred, announced that the couple will adopt all the children who had lost their parents on the fateful night.
In the first phase of the disbursal of compensation amount, an event was held at circuit house Amritsar, in which a total amount of Rs 1.05 crore was distributed to 21 families of the deceased, as per press release issued here.
Nearly 60 people were killed on Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by a train near Joda Phatak in Amritsar. Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra said compensation to the remaining families of the victims would be disbursed in the next two days.
Although, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was abroad on an official visit, he was regularly taking stock of the situation over the phone, Mohindra said.
He is personally ensuring that every wounded person is getting the best medical treatment, he added. Talking about the financial security of train accident victims, Sidhu said, "In my personal capacity I and my wife hereby announce the adoption of all the children who have lost their parents."
"Their education in good institutions and all other expenses will be borne by us. Women who have lost their husbands will also be extended all required finical help," Sidhu said.
Mohindra further said that after the rail tragedy occurred, the first task of the district administration was to take all the injured persons to the hospital for urgent medical care.
After this task was over, the administration worked day and night to console the victims' families and they prepared a list of the legal heirs of the deceased.
"It is such a depressing time for the families of the victim, the Punjab government is standing rock solid with the aggrieved families. On the instruction of the chief minister, I am camping at Amritsar to personally monitor the relief and rehabilitation work," said Mohindra.