BMTC wants the organisers to pay for damages suffered by the buses deployed for the event and the government for damages to other buses.
It is a fortnight since the Festival of Blessings sought to lend a healing touch to the suffering and the ill. But there seems to be no end to the woes bedevilling the event’s organisers.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has slapped a notice of Rs 50 lakh on the organisers of the festival towards “compensation for the losses” incurred during the event.
According to BMTC sources, there were 250 buses especially deployed for the show. Apart from this, BMTC has also requested the State government to pay Rs 1.19 crore as compensation for losses incurred during the event or “count the loss as a cost during the next fare revision”, said a Corporation official.
During the three-day event that began on January 21, around 600 BMTC buses were damaged in the City. “The organisers say that they are not responsible for the damage done to vehicles not used for the show. From them, we are only claiming for damages to the deployed buses,” said the official.
When contacted Gul Kripalani, the chief organiser of the show, now in Mumbai, said they have already paid Rs 10 lakh to BMTC against claims for losses. “Though I wanted to contest their demand we let go and paid more than their claim. How can the organisers be held responsible and made to pay for carnage and vandalism? It is for the law enforcers to ensure peace and calm in the City,” he added.
Kripalani claimed that he was unaware of the new notice given to the Benny Hinn show organisers by the Corporation.
“Such issues are best amicably settled between the parties. We have not given them a time-frame for compensation. We trust that they will comply,” said BMTC Managing Director Upendra Tripathy.
And while he rued the fact that a lot of newly bought buses were damaged during the event, he appreciated the courage of his staff and commuters, many of whom helped prevent loss of public property.
“I was told that people got down from the buses and took control of the situation,” he added.
Whether the organisers or the government compensates for the loss is an option, said a corporation spokesman.
“In all probability, the bus tariff will be increased in the next fare revision to make do for losses,” he added.
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