Udhampur landslide victims await damages, rehabilitation

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Udhampur
  • Updated: Oct 07, 2014 21:18 IST

Even a month after a mudslide that came crashing down the house of a Sanjeet Singh and killing his two sons in Bapli village, 8km from Udhampur, the victim is still waiting for rehabilitation and compensation from the J&K government.

Furious over what he perceived as the government's indifference towards his family's plight, which is trying to pick up the thread of life after witnessing a mass destruction triggered by incessant rains and landslides, Sanjeet alleged that even as a month was on since the landslide hit the area, not even a single tent was given to his family.

With tears in his eyes Singh added, "Life has no meaning for me as I have lost my two little children, Manjit Singh (8) and Rajiv Singh (6), whom no government can bring back. But to support us morally, even deputy commissioner did not bother to visit us," he said, as tears gathered into his eyes.

"I have only one grudge that my newly-constructed house worth around `20 lakh got totally damaged in the landslide. However, instead of helping us, the patwari in his report submitted to higher ups assessed the damages only 30% of the total loss."

In the name of relief and rehabilitation, he said, the administration had given him a piece of plastic sheet and 50 kg wheat flour two months back and he along with his wife was living in a kuccha house of his parents.

However, Sanjeet's wife said his husband was working in a local electronic shop and after losing his sons he was in depression and not going on job. "It is very difficult to manage livelihood as not even a tent was given to us by the government, forcing us to live with parents.

In the name of ex-gratia, the tehsildar gave rs 1.5 lakh each against the deaths of his two sons.
The affected people are waiting for adequate compensation to rebuild their damaged houses, while the state government and the district administration, which is working at a snail's pace, even failed to assure them that the damages would be disbursed within shortest possible time.

Local MLA, who is on a hunger strike for the last six days, termed the government's ex-gratia relief package for the houses fully damaged by the floods as insufficient, saying the devastation, needs to be responded with extraordinary measures.

"`70,000 ex-gratia reliefs to owners of fully damaged houses is a cruel joke," he added.

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