Relief for K'taka August floods hits 'procedural' wall

Relief for K'taka August floods hits 'procedural' wall

The Yediyurappa government had initially announced Rs 5 lakh for homes with 75% and more damage (category A), Rs 1 lakh for homes with 25-75% damage (category B) and Rs 25,000 for homes that need minor repairs (Category C).

Procedural complications have left authorities in a spot in doling out compensation to families whose houses were either fully damaged or suffered partial structural damages in the devastating August 2019 floods.

The Yediyurappa government had initially announced Rs 5 lakh for homes with 75% and more damage (category A), Rs 1 lakh for homes with 25-75% damage (category B) and Rs 25,000 for homes that need minor repairs (Category C).

Subsequently, Yediyurappa told the Legislative Assembly that houses under Categories A and B will get Rs 5 lakh. However, the government’s plans have hit a roadblock. 

“But, how can we sanction Rs 5 lakh to a Category B house where only a wall has collapsed? We have to distinguish between those houses that are completely and partially damaged when granting relief,” sources in the Housing Department, involved in the process, said.

One deputy commissioner of a flood-hit district, under the condition of anonymity, explained that relief is sanctioned in 3-4 installments to those under Category A.

“For such houses, Rs 1 lakh is initially released to lay the foundation for a new house, following which other installments are released based on the progress of the work. Location of the house is geo-tagged and photographs are uploaded before another installment is released. But it is impossible to follow the process for Category B houses,” the DC said.

While there were suggestions that Category B houses are razed so that Rs 5 lakh can be sanctioned, many residents were not keen on the idea. Some had advised the government to release the actual repair cost of the affected houses, which officials fear will provide room for irregularities.

Following discussion with officials from various districts, a decision has been taken to modify the order and sanction Rs 3 lakh for Category B houses. Some have recommended granting Rs 1.5 lakh to those whose houses suffered 25-50% damage and Rs 3 lakh to those with 50-75% damage, sources added. Officials are now awaiting fresh directions from the government on the revised relief to Category B houses.

Revenue Secretary (disaster management) Anilkumar TK said the government was aware of the issue and a decision will be announced soon to address the concerns.

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