Compensation from SDRF
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 26: While tural calamities like floods and erosion reduce property of many people in the State to rubble, middlemen inflict more damage on the affected people and reduce them to tears. This was reflected on the floor of the Assam Assembly on Monday.
Taking part in the discussion on the cut motion on the allocation of funds for Revenue and Disaster Magement Department in the 2018-19 annual Budget, BJP MLA Tapan Kumar Gogoi has alleged that the middlemen rob the affected people of compensation they should get as ex gratia. The State Government gives away compensation to people who suffer loss of property during floods and other disasters from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
Citing some empirical examples in his constituency, Gogoi said: “Some mandals and gaoburhas were found to have issued fake certificates of damage estimation. Such instances make an affected person who should get Rs 5,000 as compensation gets as high as Rs 95,000 and those who should get Rs 95,000 get as low as Rs 5,000. Middlemen have hijacked the very spirit of SDRF in the State. The State Government should do enough to arrest this unhealthy trend.”
Taking part in the discussion, Congress MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed said: “There are instances of people losing their limbs and becoming disabled during disasters in Assam. Such victims of disasters need to get compensation from the State Government since there is such a provision. In my seven-year stint as a legislator in this House I’ve never seen any such affected person getting compensation from the SDRF.”
Ahmed further said: “Vast areas of arable lands are rendered unfit for cultivation during floods in the State. However, the affected farmers don’t get any compensation for de-silting such lands so as to make them fit for cultivation despite the existence of such a provision. This is not all. Dispur is seen to have delayed submission of utilization certificates of SDRF funds.”
AIUDF MLA Mamun Imdadul Haque Choudhury, BJP’s Chakra Gogoi and Numal Momin also spoke on the issue. The reply from the minister in-charge of the department Pallab Lochan Das did not reply due to paucity of time. He may reply to the queries on Tuesday.