HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Rain-hit rue meagre damages, allege politics at play

Raghbir Singh Brar, Hindustan Times  Faridkot, November 14, 2013
First Published: 21:00 IST(14/11/2013) | Last Updated: 21:05 IST(14/11/2013)

The distribution of compensation cheques at Chack Kalyan, the village which was most affected by rains in the district, has left many beneficiaries dissatisfied as the amount is too small to compensate for the loss they have suffered. Some villagers alleged that the panchayat was behind all this as some people got big amount even as they had suffered small loss.


The village has reportedly got Rs. 17.50 lakh through nearly 180 cheques, 107 of which have already been distributed.

"Most of the villagers are being issued the cheques for Rs. 1,900 and Rs. 11,300 as compensation for the damage to their houses. But there are 12 cheques for Rs. 70,000. Only half of them who have got big amount deserve that compensation," alleged Nirmal Singh, a villager.

"Those who have suffered small loss have managed to get big amount, while the poor whose rooms had collapsed have mostly got `1,900 and Rs. 11,300 as compensation," alleged Sukhnandan Singh, another villager.

"My two rooms were destroyed in the rain and I have only got Rs. 11,300, which is too small an amount. On the other hand, there are some who have allegedly got Rs. 70,000 for small damage," alleged Resham Singh, a former member of panchayat.

A village youth, Ramjeet, claimed that they got nothing for the loss they suffered. "We had lost our one room in the rain, but got no compensation," alleged Ramjeet Singh, son of Mohinder Singh, an army martyr.

Most people are also not satisfied with small amount of Rs. 1,900 and Rs. 11,300 for big losses they suffered.

"We have been living in a tent for three months and looking forward for compensation to construct rooms. But when we were informed that we had been given Rs. 11,300 for our loss, my husband did not go to receive the cheque," said Komal Kaur.

"My husband had put up his signatures, but the small amount left us disappointed and he did not go to receive the cheque. He is a daily wager and we have three children. How can we construct a pucca room with such a small amount?" said Komal.

"My three rooms were damaged in rain but I got only Rs. 1,900 compensation. The rain had badly damaged the entire house and I am getting it all constructed, but compensation is very small," said Hakam Singh, another village.

Locals alleged that the village-level politics also played a role in deciding the compensation during the survey and some people started constructions without any suffering any damage because they were assured of compensation by those backed by the SAD.

"The survey was carried out by government officials and there is no discrimination in distribution of the compensation. If they allege that people belonging to the ruling party got undue benefit, there are others, too, who have got the damage recorded without suffering any loss," said Hartej Singh, village sarpanch.

Mohammad Tayyab, deputy commissioner, Faridkot, could not be contacted as he was out of station and busy in a meeting.

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