The Newz Radar
MANDI: Twelve flashflood-affected families of Kuklah village near Pandoh, about 30 km from the Mandi district headquarters in Himachal Pradesh, have been running from pillar to post to get the disaster relief grant from the state government. Displaced from their homes that were majorly damaged after a cloudburst and subsequent landslides more than a month ago, the families have claimed that they have got a mere Rs 5,000 as relief from the district administration, and that too after a long struggle.
The displaced villagers alleged that as their houses were swept away in flashfloods, they were left only with the clothes they were wearing and nothing else. Dharam Chand and Bhagirath told TNR that the district administration visited them a week later only when the news of their plight was flashed in the media. “The officials from the administration assured us that a compensation of Rs 1.20 lakh will be given to each family soon. We were handed over Rs 5,000, and that too after almost a week.
They gave us a long list of formalities and documentation. The immediate relief was spent on completing the paper work itself,” they said.The duo asserted that they have been asked to produce papers that got washed away along with their homes in flashfloods. “From where can we produce the papers? We are in no condition to prepare them again in the prevailing circumstances…. Nearly a month has passed and no one from the administration has visited us. We continue to live here in tents with our families in adverse conditions.
Instead of asking us to complete certain formalities, the “Sukh ki Sarkar” should allot us some land or make arrangements for our lodging before the onset of winter,” they said. Geeta Devi, another victim, rued that she was living a life of a nomad in tents with her family with no support from the government even when a month has passed after the calamity struck.
Another victim, Fateh Ram, claimed that with minimum relief coming from the government, it was difficult for him to restart his life as he had lost his house, land and cattle in the devastating floods.
He urged that the government should immediately provide them with some boarding arrangements.Bali Chowki SDM Mohan Sharma said that the administration was in process of completing the formalities for disbursal of funds. “The compensation would be paid once we finished the legal formalities,” he said.