Flood-hit get little monetary assistance

Victims say compensation granted is just a pittance

With compensations like Rs 10,000 for the complete collapse of a kachha house, Rs 35,000 for the loss of a limb, Rs 10,000 for the death of cattle, Rs 6,000 for damage to a hectare of land and Rs 1 lakh for the loss of a life –– it seems like the government does not put a high price on people’s lives and property.

These compensations are based on the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) and Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) framed by the Centre in 2007. This scheme of compensation will be in force till 2010.

As per the NCCF and CRF, a completely collapsed pakka house will fetch a compensation of Rs 25,000 and a kachha house will be paid Rs 10,000. For a partially collapsed house, the government will grant a compensation of Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000, and Rs 2,000 for a completely collapsed hut.

These compensations are a pittance even in comparison to  the Centre’s Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) which grants Rs 1.5 lakh for the construction for a house.

But if the same house gets destroyed in a natural calamity, the compensation is just Rs 25,000. “How is this fair?” is the question raised by the flood-affected.
If this is the state of houses, people’s lives are not valued any higher either. If a person suffers 40 per cent disability during a natural calamity, he/she is compensated with Rs 35,000, and Rs 50,000 for 75 per cent disability.

It is even worse in the case domestic animals. While the market price for a pair of bullock is around Rs one lakh, the compensation is just Rs 10,000.

What is worse is that, the compensation remains the same irrespective of the number of animals lost to a natural calamity. So no matter how many sheep are lost to a flood, the rearer is entitled to receive only Rs 4,000 and Rs 300 as compensation in case of poultry.

Rs 6000 a hectare

The loss of irrigated land, which is worth at least Rs 3 to 5 lakh an acre, are compensated at Rs 6,000 per hectare.
Given this disparity, there is no reason why people should feel relieved even if the Centre generously okays the State’s demand for Rs 10,000 crore.

Those worst affected feel that the need of the hour is to not just sanction compensation, but for it to be substantial enough to rebuild their lives.

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