Kallu Kushwaha, the father of Ganesha, one of the men who died, said that his son has been driving a tractor for 15 years, without any such accident occurring. He has a one-and-a-half year old daughter, ‘Ganesha was my eldest son and sole earning member of our family. How are we meant to support ourselves now?’
Chotelal Gupta, the father of the other deceased, Deepak, said his son had begun work a month ago. Ganesha would drive, and Deepak would accompany him.
Neighbours said that Ganesha had taken the tractor to the hill. As he was driving back with the tractor loaded with stones, he moved aside to let another tractor pass by, and lost control. The tractor overturned and the men fell into the quarry. Ganesha died on the spot. The bodies were sent for autopsy on 12 July.
Munna Khan, the Sub-inspector of Kabrai police station said, ‘If the families of Ganesha and Deepak want the matter to be investigated, they can initiate proceedings against the owner of the quarry and the tractor. But the families often agree to settle for a sum of money.’
These fatal accidents are on the rise in Mahoba, where the quarrying is exceeding regulation depth, and the loads carried by tractors too is dangerously high. Especially in the monsoon season, the roads become narrow and slippery. Two years ago, 25 year old Makhu of Kabrai town died in similar circumstances in the same quarry. His family, consisting of his blind mother and four young siblings, all of whom he was supporting, pressed for a compensation of a lakh and a half rupees. The owner of the quarry site refused to pay anything more than the 1 lakh offered by most owners. Because of the dispute, Makhu’s body was left lying in the quarry for two days. To prevent this kind of dispute, with owners and contractors clearly more powerful, families often agree to compromise on the offered compensation amount.
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