Rethink on relief to flood-hit

Rethink on relief to flood-hit

If the central government is serious about helping Kashmir economy to grow, it cannot afford to remain silent on the previous government’s rehabilitation proposal.

In the wake of floods the ‘official’ procedure adopted for the loss assessment has raised many an eyebrow in Kashmir.

It seems that in the absence of any governmental supervision at the highest level which could be ascribed to political uncertainty in the state, the official machinery entrusted with loss assessment apparently gave a goby to many important norms that should have been strictly followed in such an exercise. The official machinery in the rush of accomplishing the task entrusted to it adopted a simple but inequitable one-size-fits-all approach fixing a uniform Rs 3800 compensation for majority of the households affected by the floods in Kashmir without making any serious effort to find out the actual damage suffered by them. The political uncertainty that was preceded by the rough and tumble of electoral politics in the state, has only added to the predicament of the people who have been kept wanting about the procedure adopted while assessing the loss by the revenue officials. Even as it seems very difficult now at this moment to initiate afresh the loss assessment as most of the damaged properties have been repaired and restored, the damage done to the people by the flawed official procedure may be reversed to some extent by announcing a uniform significant enhancement in favour of those who were given Rs 3800 relief. Secondly, the people whose houses have been damaged completely, the government needs to expedite the process of releasing more installments of ex-gratia in their favour. It is unfortunately that so far the central government has been silent on Rs 44,000 crore proposal submitted by the previous state government for its approval and funding. When it comes to the traders’ community, the government has yet to release any compensation to them. Except for the insurance settlements in the case of traders who were insured— and their number is very less, the rest of the business community is in dire straits. If the central government is serious about helping Kashmir economy to grow, it cannot afford to remain silent on the previous government’s rehabilitation proposal. The sooner it is cleared the better it would for this landlocked state.