Say compensation calculated by the Revenue Department is inadequate
KOZHIKODE: A year after a major fire broke out on Moideen Palli Road adjacent to the Sweetmeat Street here claiming eight lives and destroying more than 80 shops, many traders who suffered losses have not been able to restart their business.
T. Nasirudheen, president, Kerala Vyapara Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES), said 16 shops on the ground floor of the building being constructed by the Samithy would start functioning by May 15. Work on the first floor will start soon. Six shops will be opened on the first floor. The construction work of the building was started on November 24, 2007. But, it ran into rough weather after objections were raised by the Corporation on alleged violation of building rules.
P.T. Solomon, a trader who had a godown of artificial flowers and gift items in a building that caught fire, was lucky, as his building owner rebuilt the gutted structure. But many were not so lucky.
The traders also complained that the compensati on calculated by the Revenue Department was not sufficient. The government had so far disbursed only 25 per cent of the total compensation calculated by the Revenue Department. Traders had dema nded Rs.10 crore as compensation. The government pro-mised to disburse only Rs.1.5 crore. The government only disbursed 25 per cent of what they promised, traders complain. The fire on April 5, 2007, broke out from a wholesale firecracker shop. Follo wing the incident, the district administration had stopped issuing licence to shops selling crackers in the Corporation limits. The administrati on was thinking of allowing tr aders to set up cracker shops at the Kalipoika grounds or other grounds in the city.
District Colector A. Jayathilak said Rs.1,30,83,576 aid was disbursed by the government till date in connection with the fire on Moidheen Palli Road here on April 5, 2007.
A total of Rs.1 lakh each was disbursed to families of eight persons who died in the tragedy. A committee comprising representatives of traders and officials of revenue, police, fire force and Kozhikode corporation had estimated that a total of 164 persons had suffered losses in the fire.
The first instalment of financial aid of Rs.44,25,151 was disbursed from among the total of Rs.91,66,340 collected from public for helping those who suffered in the tragedy, an official release quoting the District Collector said here on Friday.
The first instalment financial aid was 10 per cent of the loss incurred to every individual in the tragedy. Then, a total of Rs.50 lakh sanctioned by the government from the Traders Welfare Fund was also utilised in helping those who suffered losses in the fire. The second instalment of Rs.86,58,425 was also disbursed.
Those who suffered losses up to Rs.10,000 or less were given the total amount due to them as financial aid by the government.
Apart from this, the government had sanctioned a total of Rs.1,16,060 for those who had suffered injuries in the tragedy and had applied for treatment aid. The remaining amount of the financial aid sanctioned by the government would be disbursed soon, he said.