Karnataka

Houses for flood-hit: Law Minister’s count differs from reality

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Though Law Minister J.C. Madhuswamy has stated that only 9,000 flood-hit families have approached the State government for relief, the government has released the first instalment of ₹1 lakh compensation to around 27,000 families who lost houses in Belagavi district alone.

At a meeting in the city on October 3, officials told Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa that 69,381 families lost their houses in the floods. Of them, the details of 57,432 have been uploaded on the website of Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Ltd.

The remaining 11,949 entries are pending because of issues like dispute over ownership and succession, and lack of Aadhaar and ration cards. Officials will enter this data once the government issues instructions on such issues, Deputy Commissioner S.B. Bommanahalli had told the CM. He had also informed him that of the 69,381 houses, 7,926 were unauthorised, with the owners either not obtaining permissions or not having proper documents. The first instalment of compensation has been transferred to the bank accounts of the victims, and the gram panchayats concerned have issued work orders to start building houses.

The procedure

The procedure for allotment of houses by the government for calamities and for other times is different. “During calamities, there is no need to apply to the government for sanctioning of houses. It is the responsibility of the government to survey affected families and allot houses to them. Only in the routine course beneficiaries are expected to apply,” said a senior officer.

“During calamities, officials go from door to door, inspecting the losses and collecting documents. There is no set format of application. In fact, we have collected information even from houses regarded as unauthorised. We only have to establish the identity of the affected families, and the fact that they were living in the house that collapsed. We have collected data on nearly 8,000 unauthorised houses. The government will assist them in building houses if it is proved that they were the legitimate occupants,” the officer said.

Criticism

Meanwhile, farmers’ leader Jayashree Gurannanavar has criticised the Minister’s statement. “It is insensitive. He should realise that he is insulting the farmers and other poor families that lost houses. Should we involve ourselves in rebuilding our shattered lives or run to the tahsildar’s office with applications for new houses? When there is no law making it necessary for an application during calamities, what is the Minister trying to say?” she said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 7:40:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/houses-for-flood-hit-law-ministers-count-differs-from-reality/article29612229.ece

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