ALAPPUZHA: Many flood victims of Neelamperoor panchayat in Kuttanad taluk are still waiting for aid though the government had promised to provide financial assistance for their damaged houses by Friday.
As many as 24 residents in ward number 11 of east Chennankari, whose applications were rejected in December earlier, were given just Rs 5,200 the other day. They are clueless when they will get the rest of the fund which is credited to their accounts without informing them in which percentage category they have been included.
As per the Rebuild Kerala project, the flood victims can get at least Rs 10,000 for 15 percent damage, Rs 60,000 for 6 to 30 percent, Rs 1.25 lakh for 31-59 and Rs 2.5 lakh for 60 and 75 percent. New houses will be constructed if the damage is above 75 percent.
Baby Kuruppanchery, a resident who got Rs 5,200 the other day, has no idea about the damage percentage of his house. Neither the panchayat member nor officials have told him about it. He was surprised as his neighbour Babychen, who suffered less damage, got Rs 25,000 in his account the other day.
He alleged that the panchayat authorities had treated the same beneficiaries differently. “People close to the CPM got a better slab of benefits. Even the panchayat president got Rs 2 lakh under the scheme. There should be an investigation into the dual treatment,” he said.
This newspaper had reported on July 3 about their long wait for compensation. Antony Scaria, Kuttanad tahsildar, said the money was distributed on the basis of the list prepared by the panchayat authorities. Rs 10,000 (under 15 percent) is being distributed through two sector fun-ds. One is from the Dis-aster Redressal Fund and the other from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). In this particular case, Rs 5,200 was sanctioned from the Disaster Redressal Fund. The rest of Rs 4,800 from the CMDRF will follow soon, he said.
When asked why the beneficiaries had not been told about the percentage category when the list was prepared, the tahsildar said that it was the duty of panchayat authorities to prepare the beneficiary list.
Meanwhile, Rajani Babu, panchayat president, refuted the allegations about the irregularities in the list. She said that she had managed to get a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh as her house suffered 60 to 74 percent damage. Asked why the panchayat president knew about the percentage of the damage, she said that her list was prepared under Rebuild App and the fund was delivered earlier.
The new fund is given based on the list prepared by the engineering wing . Since many of the houses were repaired by the people themselves, the engineers said that they could not estimate the damage, she said.
As per the data available with district administration, at least Rs 380.26 crore has already been distributed to the beneficiaries who suffered damage between 15 and 74 percent. Maintenance fund was distributed to 88, 140 houses out of a total of 1,00,547 listed houses. Of 2,516 fully damaged houses, 837 were rebuilt so far.