Afshan Yasmeen

Many residents in several wards wait for compensation from the BMP

Bias in disbursementFamilies of victims in Jeevanabheemanagar and Kachakaranahalli get Rs. 1 lakh each Families of victims in Chandra Layout get Rs. 50,000 Families in Hombegowdanagar get Rs. 35,000

BANGALORE: Jayamma, whose house in Valmikinagar slum of Azadnagar was damaged during the rains that lashed the city in October, is still waiting for the compensation promised by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP).

She is not alone. Hundreds of residents of several wards in the south zone, whose houses were either partially damaged or completely washed away during the rains, are hoping the BMP will give them the promised relief at least now.

Compensation

After the rain killed eight persons, damaged over 50 houses and inundated over 200 houses in the city, the BMP had swung into action to rehabilitate the displaced families. Following an inspection of rain-affected areas by the then Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, the civic body had promised to pay Rs 6,000 to each of those whose houses were completely washed away and Rs 2,000 to people whose houses were partially damaged.

While the State Government promised Rs. 30 crores to the civic body for rain relief measures, the BMP Council had resolved to pay a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to the families of the eight persons who lost their lives following the rains.

Four months after the calamity, while the relief is partially distributed in some wards, it is yet to reach the beneficiaries in many areas. Residents of a few areas in the East and West zones are the lucky ones who received the relief on time.

Delay

This delay in disbursement of rain relief has irked corporators from all parties. While the Bharatiya Janata Party floor leader in the council A.H. Basavaraju termed the BMP's rain-relief measures as eye-wash, the former ruling Congress party leader B.T. Srinivas Murthy representing Azadnagar wondered what is the definition of "flood-relief."

"Several residents of Bande slum and Valmikinagar slum in my area are still waiting for the promised Rs. 2,000 to get their houses repaired. May be the relief will arrive only after their houses are completely washed away in another flood," he said.

According to Mr. Basavaraju, of the eight families, who lost a member each during the rain, only two had received the promised Rs 1 lakh compensation. While the BMP paid cheques of Rs. 35,000 to families of two rain victims, the rest had got Rs. 50,000 each. "Why this kind of bias in disbursing compensation for death? Does this indicate that the officials need to be bribed to get the full compensation?" he asked.

Official sources in the BMP said the delay in disbursement is because the State Government had released only Rs. 20 crores to the civic body so far. "Of this, we have used over Rs. 8 lakhs to distribute compensation and over Rs. 4 lakhs for providing relief measures (food, clothes and shelter) to the affected families. Though we had estimated the rain damages at Rs. 70 crores, the aid we received is Rs. 20 crores," the sources said.

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