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A parliamentary committee has suggested that the Railways pay compensation not only to train passengers who are victims of accidents but also to those who are killed or injured at level crossings, without making them go through the judicial process. The Railway Convention Committee which submitted its report today in both Houses said the Railways should suo moto pay compensation to the road users (level crossing victims) just like they do with rail passengers who are victims of accidents. "The committee recommends that cause of each accident of the level crossings should be investigated, preferably by an outside agency, and if lapses on the part of the Railways are established based on such investigations, Indian Railways should suo moto pay compensation to the road users also, instead of waiting for a decree by the MACT (Motor Accident Claims Tribunal) or any other court so as to avoid time consuming process of litigation," it said. As of now, under the Railway Act, 1989, liability of the Indian Railways to provide compensation is limited to rail passengers who are victims of accidents. Road users are given compensation if decreed by MACT or any other court. In the last five years, compensation amount of Rs 1.29 crore has been paid by the various zonal railways to accident victims at level crossings, after being mandated by courts. The committee recommended that such compensation can be given faster if the Railways takes action on its own.
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