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Air India fined Rs 30 lakh for non-availability of wheelchair causing death of elderly passenger

A few days ago, the National Human Rights Commission also issued a notice to DGCA asking what steps have been taken or proposed to be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: February 29, 2024 14:15 IST
Representational pic
Image Source : PTI Representational pic

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a financial penalty of Rs 30 lakhs on Air India after an incident of non-availability of a wheelchair to an 80-year-old passenger who collapsed and died after walking from the aircraft to the airport terminal at Mumbai, said the official on Thursday. The development comes days after reports surfaced that an elderly man died at the Mumbai airport after he was refused a wheelchair despite prior request to an airline and forced to walk.

NHRC notice to DGCA over death

Earlier on February 20, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a notice to the DGCA over the death of the air passenger. According to the media reports, the US-based Indian-origin man collapsed after walking for about 1.5 km on the way to the immigration area. He was walking alongside his wife, who was in a wheelchair.
 
The Human rights body said in a statement, that the elderly couple was travelling from New York to India, adding it has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that an 80-year-old man died at the Mumbai airport as he had to walk when not provided with a wheelchair despite prior request to the airline.
 
 
The Commission observed that the content of the media report, if true, raises a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim. It has asked the DGCA for a detail report in four weeks. It should include the status of compensation if any, provided to the next of kin of the deceased, the statement said.
 
"There has been a significant increase in the number of air passengers as well as the airfare, but the standard of facilities doesn't seem to have improved proportionately resulting in several complaints reported in the media and posted on social media," the Commission observed.
 
"According to the media report, there were 32 wheelchair passengers on the particular flight but there were only 15 available with accompanying staff on the ground to help them. The wife sat in the wheelchair while the husband followed her on foot and collapsed after some time. The elderly couple was travelling from New York to India," it said.
(With agencies inputs)
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