Thursday, April 5, 2012

Victims of windstorm yet to receive compensation

Several victims of the windstorm that hit the Valley last month have yet to receive any relief or compensation.
People from various areas of the Valley, who suffered heavy damages to their houses, told KTNS that they have yet to receive any relief from the government. The families have repaired the damages of their properties with their own expenses.  No compensation has been given to houseboat owners.

“Over 100 houseboats were damaged in the windstorm but we did not get any relief so far. Indeed, we were not allowed to repair a houseboat which had sunk into the water,” said Azim Tumaan, Chairman House Boat Owners Association.

Rouf Ahmad from Nowshera, whose house was severely damaged in the windstorm, said he did not receive relief from authorities. He alleged that no one even came to review the damages in his locality.
“I did not receive a penny from the authorities. I repaired the damages with my own expenses,” said Rouf, adding that no one in his locality was granted reparation.

On March 18, massive windstorm hit the Valley which swept Kashmir for 24 hours. As per official reports 95 residential houses were fully damaged, 11,641 houses were partially damaged, 4,074 non-residential houses got partially damaged. 25 government buildings, 16 school buildings, and a hospital building were partially damaged. Ten house boats were also severely damaged. Three persons lost their lives in the disaster.

The windstorm had damaged the walls, windows, gate and ripped off the roof of Rouf’s houses.
Mohammad Yousuf, from Khanyar revealed that even as some officials have assessed the damages, no relief was granted.  The windstorm has completely damaged the top floor of Yousuf’s house. He is rebuilding it with his own money.

“I did not get any relief even though my house was severely damaged. No one in our neighbourhood got any compensation,” said Yousuf.

Divisional commissioner, Kashmir, Dr Asgar Samoon told KTNS that State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which was allocated in advance to various districts has been utilized. The fresh allocation of funds for the windstorm has yet to be made.

“Some amount of SDRF which was paid in advance was utilised in some areas like Kupwara while some areas did not have any money left from that amount. We are hopeful of getting funds from the revenue ministry soon which will be disbursed amongst the victims without delay,” Dr Samoon said.

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