World’s apart. In the UK, an eminent fellow opines over the future of Alton Towers’ fated rollercoaster. Yes, the ride could reopen. But blame would have to be found, proved and corrected. The moral dilemma of reopening the ride would be in the hands of Merlin Entertainment.
In India, a judge calls for drastic measures to shake up the process of motor accident compensation payouts. Two years is the average. On Saturday, the Lok Adalat, the People’s Court, resolved 5,075 cases in one sitting, some stretching back five or six years.
Staffordshire, England: Could Smiler rollercoaster reopen in time?
The real cause of the Alton Towers Smiler tragedy may not be known for several years. That’s according to Dr Tony Cox, who’s not discounting the ride opening again in the future.
Whether it does will depend on the evidence the HSE uncovers. The problem is, the scope is so wide.
Dr Cox, a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, offered a pragmatic view of the job the investigators face. At this stage, the design of the ride, its mechanical function or, as is looking more likely, human error could have been the major contributory factor.
How the ride came to be life-threatening remains unclear for now. But the fellow said that, from his experience, if there’s a technical fault, the source normally surfaces in the end.
Getting into the nuts and bolts of the issue
Unlike human error, from a mechanical perspective there is a finite number of things that can go wrong. What Dr Cox wouldn’t be drawn on is how long it would take to check all of the conceivable failures.
Even then, unless the combination of factors points to a single cause, blame will be difficult to prove.
Once the fault is detected, and subsequently corrected, he said that physically there’s nothing stopping the rollercoaster operating in the future. The moral standpoint of reopening Smiler, he countered, was another question entirely.
With compensation claims from the four seriously injured passengers on the front row alone expected to run into millions, the financial cost of the ride may also impact Alton Towers’ decision to run “Smiler” again.
Bengaluru, India: Sweeping decision clear 10% of outstanding motor accident claims
And speaking of taking an eternity to process accident claims, there’s been an astonishing development in India, Bengaluru to be precise.
Last week, Judge Ch K Durga Rao spoke to The Hindu newspaper about the serious backlog of motoring accident claims rife in their region.
Contravening the Motor Vehicles Act (1988), many compensation claims were taking, on average, two years to get through the civil courts.
Part of the problem is the claims forms process. Not the actual original reports. But because there are ‘several agencies’ involved in getting a claim from the insurer to court, the time lapse has caused the Supreme Court to intervene.
Judge Rao, who’s the chair of the DLSA, wants the process expedited much quicker. That may come in the future, but the Lok Adalat, the People’s Court, were in no mood to wait that long on Saturday morning.
The Lok Adalat is a justice-carrying system developed in India. It offers mediation and resolution as an alternative to the courts. Every now and again, when such a bottleneck occurs in the court system, India will hold a national Lok Adalat.
On Saturday, they did just that. In all, over 5,700 claims were settled, roughly 10% of all of the state’s claims. The total payout was in the region of £8.5M.
So successful was this last court, different types of disputes will be handled in this manner every month.
So, if you’re in Bengaluru on July 11th and have a dispute with the Public Utility providers, make your way to the National Lok Adalat. You may get your dispute settled en masse, rather than wait for your claim to go to the official court.