Flood victims await timber for reconstruction of houses

Flood victims who were rendered homeless during September 2014 devastated floods are running from pillar to post to get timber for reconstruction of their residential houses.
Flood victims await timber for reconstruction of houses
Representational Pic

Flood victims who were rendered homeless during September 2014 devastated floods are running from pillar to post to get timber for reconstruction of their residential houses.

"After the delay in rehabilitation of flood-hit people by government, the victims are facing more hardships due to the refusal of subsidized timber from the State Forest Department," said a victim, who was part of a delegation.

Post floods, the previous government had claimed that all the flood victims would get timber at government subsidized rates to reconstruct their houses.

However, the claims have fallen flat as large number of flood victims are denied the same on one pretext or other.

A delegation of flood-hit people told Greater Kashmir that the authorities in forest department denied them timber claiming that the new rates are yet to be decided by the government.

They said the flood-hit people have completed all the requisite formalities to get timber from the forest department. "We have already suffered a lot but the move to delay timber adds to our miseries. We are running from pillar to post to get our issues resolved but all in vain," said another person, who was part of a delegation from Jawahar Nagar.

"We can't afford timber at market rates," he said adding that they were already denied relief packages announced by the Government of India. "Instead of giving relief, government has made our lives more difficult," they added.

The delegation said government should give directions to forest department regarding the issue without any further delay.

One of the forest officials, who wished not to be named, said that higher ups are not issuing the timber.

"Yes, it is true that there are cases of flood victims who are yet to receive timber. We have completed all the formalities but it is higher ups who have to approve and allocate the timber to us for distribution among flood victims," he said.

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