When will ‘promised’ relief reach the needy ?

When will ‘promised’ relief reach the needy ?

Parliamentary committee raps Uttarakhand govt for failing to complete relief disbursal to Kedarnath disaster victims

 

By Sandeep Joshi


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Parliamentary Standing Committee has rapped the Uttarakhand Government for having failed to complete the monetary relief disbursal to family members of all those killed in the disaster that struck the hilly region of the state in June 2013. It has also pulled up the state government for not providing death certificates of all those deceased in the natural disaster that has hindered disbursal of life insurance claims to affected families.


In its report that was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on July 31, 2015, the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has noted that even after over two years of the disaster, 437 next of kin (NoK) of missing persons are still awaiting compensation, while death certificates of as many as 417 deceased are yet to be issued.


Families of all these deceased who are yet to be compensated and given death certificates are from other states. The victims were in Uttarakhand, mostly on pilgrimage to Kedarnath and Badrinath, when the “Himalayan tsunami” struck in mid-June 2013. The official toll of the disaster has been put at 4,112 – 3,178 from other states and 934 from Uttarakhand. The government had announced financial assistance of Rs.5 lakh to be given to NoK of deceased.

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Signs of destruction. Reconstruction work drags on


“The Committee is constrained to express its displeasure that out of 3,178 missing persons from the other states 437 next of kin (NoK) of missing persons are still to be compensated in the aftermath of the disaster in Uttarakhand even after elapse of one-and-half-year despite the assurance of State Government and Union Home Secretary for completing formalities for compensation without much delay. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that state Government should immediately act upon the recommendation of the Committee to ensure timely compensation to NoK of missing persons without causing than further delay,” says the report that evaluated action taken by the government on the recommendations/observations contained in the previous report on disaster management.


Expressing displeasure over undue delay in giving relief to family members of those killed in the disaster, the Committee further observed that “out of 3,178 missing persons from other states, death certificates and ex-gratia relief have been provided to next to kin of 2,761 person only. The Committee, therefore, desires that the State Government should check and clarify the fact so that all assurance claims of life and property are settled fully at the earliest.”

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Nature’s fury in June 2013 left thousands dead as stretches of Kedarnath trek were washed away in minutes


The Committee also lambasted that Uttarakhand government for tardy progress in giving money to locals for construction of houses that were completely damaged in the floods. “The Committee notes that only 77.75 per cent or 1,922 beneficiaries have been given first installment of Rs.1.5 lakh. The Committee is of the view that this is not a good achievement made by the State Government after lapse of a substantial period. The Committee therefore recommends that all the remaining beneficiaries should be provided their due and legitimate relief amount within three months,” the report adds.


Post the disaster, the Parliamentary Standing Committee had suggested some measures to be taken at the earliest for strengthening disaster management mechanism of the state. But the Committee has now pointed out that neither the Union Home Ministry nor the Uttarakhand government have chalked out plans regarding construction of shelter houses and community centres with sufficient food stock in Uttarakhand to meet similar natural calamity in future.


While noting that the erstwhile Planning Commission had worked out a medium and long term reconstruction package for Uttarakhand which included a financial package of Rs.7,364 crore from centrally sponsored scheme, central plan, special plan assistance and externally aided projects, the Parliamentary Committee has hoped that the NITI Aayog, the body that replaced Planning Commission, would take cognizance of the decision of the erstwhile Planning Commission and the concerted course of action would be taken by the BJP-led NDA government to ameliorate Uttarakhand from the shock of devastation and put the State back on the rail.

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Life returning to normal in Kedarnath



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6 Comments

  1. sunil September 02, at 16:10

    Fantastic report of sandeep joshi/congrats for this news portal . Authentic stories on uttrakhand. Highly 8nformative n thought provoking sunil negi

    Reply
    • Uttarakhand Panorama September 02, at 16:32

      Thanks Mr. Negi for your valuable words of appreciation. It is encouragement from people like you that helps us to work harder and with full responsibility. We promise that this news website will ensure that people of Uttarakhand in getting latest news and views on Uttarakhand.

      Reply
  2. Megha September 03, at 08:24

    2 years gone and victims still waiting for the relief!!! How long will this wait be?? Hope the government wakes up and soon. Wish Uttarakhand Panaroma become a platform for more such reports. All the best!!

    Reply
    • Uttarakhand Panorama September 03, at 10:31

      It is sad that relief and rehabilitation in India is never taken seriously. Hope governments learn some lessons from their past mistakes. We at Uttarakhand Panorama are committed to raise all issues that affect common man, aam Uttarakhandis. Thanks for your wishes.

      Reply
      • GS PANT September 04, at 17:01

        VERY GOOD EFFORTS. WILL GO A LONG WAY. OUR BEST WISHES.

        Reply
        • Uttarakhand Panorama September 04, at 17:07

          Thanks for your kind words. Will request you to keep visiting the website and promote it in your circle. It would be great if you could contribute by sending in some interesting articles and pictures.

          Reply

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