‘No action was taken on Good Samaritan policy’
Those helping accident victims, who could even be NGOs or individuals, would be rewarded cash prizes ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh
Pune: In 2014, Maharashtra issued a Government Resolution (GR) stating that every year in Maharashtra about 13,000 people die in road accidents and over 45,000 are injured.
Later, the GR asked all the superintendents and commissioners of police to identify the ‘Good Samaritan’ every month, who proactively rescue the accident victims and help them get timely medical aid.
Those helping accident victims, who could even be NGOs or individuals, would be rewarded cash prizes ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh.
The GR, dated February 25, 2014, issued by the Home Department states that several lives are lost each year in accidents for want of timely help, rescue and assistance and ending up devastating several families.
However, a query under the Right to Information (RTI) filed by this reporter with Pune city police traffic branch revealed that they don’t have details of any proposal being sent to the government in this regard.
As per the traffic branch, every year about 400 persons die in road accidents in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, while over 600 get seriously injured.
A senior police officer told Sakal Times, “It is sheer apathy by the department that they are not sending the proposal to the government to reward those who help an accident victim. Many people die as they don’t get medical help on time and the ‘golden hour’ is lost. People fear that the police will question them about the accident and hence refrain from helping the accident victims. Even though Supreme Court has given directions that those helping accident victims will not be questioned, it seems the message is yet to reach the masses. I believe if the reward scheme is seriously taken by the police it will go long way in saving precious lives.”
Another officer from the traffic branch added, “We don’t get all the details of the accident cases. In many cases, the police stations don’t share the information on time. Instead of the traffic branch, the government should make police stations/Zonal DCP responsible for sending the proposal as they are the ones who have got all such information.”
When contacted, Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla said, “I will look into the issue and make sure information about the scheme reaches more people through police stations.”
What is the govt resolution about reward scheme?
As per the GR, all the superintendents of police in the district and traffic branch, heads in police commissionerates should identify cases where people have helped accident victims and prepare a detailed report of the incident mentioning details of such good Samaritan individual, group or NGOs and send the report to the State Home Department where a committee headed by additional chief secretary (home) will scrutinise them. As per the GR, this report must be strictly sent within a month of the date of accident. The five-member committee would compile and analyse the reports received between January and December, before putting up for the government’s final approval till March next year, following which the rewards would be announced.