Tiware villagers asked to prove ownership of items washed away
Three days after the Tiware dam breach, killing 19 villagers in Bendewadi hamlet, Tiware village in Chiplun, the district administration has now asked all surviving residents affected by the dam overflow to submit purchase bills/receipts of household items washed away in the flood.
Four villagers are still missing after the dam, with a storage capacity of 20 lakh cubic metres, breached on Tuesday.
Five villages, apart from Tiware, are currently facing floods - Nandivase, Ovali, Akle, Lalavne and Riktoli.
The district administration’s attempt to conduct a panchnama (audit) of what residents have lost, has now come under flak based on the request for documents. At least five families have had their entire houses swept away during the dam breach.
“I lost my TV, fridge, and other things, including utensils; all purchased some time ago. How can I submit purchase bills for all this?,” asked Saraswati Kadam, resident of Bhendewadi. “If the government is not ready to help us then it’s ok, but why are they playing with our emotions?” asked Kadam.
Anandibai Chavan, a resident of Tiware village, lost her son in the dam breach tragedy. She said, “Instead of giving us support, the government is making a mockery of us. Should we concentrate on searching for, and identifying, our near and dear ones; or should we focus on collecting purchase bills of household things?; which in any case is impossible.”
Jeevan Desai, the tehsildar of Chiplun, said that to complete the panchanama process, administrative officers require documents. These documents are usually property tax and water bill. I have decided to visit the village again today and will find out exactly what our officers are demanding. I have ordered my officers not to force the issue considering what has been lost. I will personally look into this matter and will solve it,” Desai said.
At least 16 houses have been completely washed away. Many damaged houses are still standing in the village, but the local authorities have warned residents not to return because there is a possibility of buildings collapsing given the non-stop rainfall since Tuesday.