Millions of rupees meant for flood victims likely to freeze

 Rautahat, June 7

Millions of rupees meant for victims of last year’s floods in Rautahat is likely to freeze with relief not distributed in a number of local bodies so far.

The government in October last year had sent Rs102.5 million to Disaster Management Committee under district administration committee. Almost half the amount is likely to freeze as relief hasn’t reached victims.

As per official data, 4,100 households were affected by the monsoon floods. After the flood, the government had sent relief fund with the provision that each victim family would get Rs 25,000, including 15,000 rupees for repairing their flood-ravaged house and additional 10,000 rupees for warm clothes.

District administration sources show only 2,200 of those victims received their share of the relief which totals up to 55 million rupees. “Around 1,900 victims are yet to receive relief,” said Accountant Sanjaya Jha at the administration, adding that the amount would freeze if not used by the fiscal end.

Local Dinesh Yadav of Laxmipur Belbichhawain Rajdevi Municipality said a number of flood victims couldn’t get the relief because their names were missing from the list of beneficiaries. “The problem has appeared because the local representatives deliberately didn’t keep the names of victims who didn’t vote for them on the list,” he said. Thousands of families in places like Madhav Narayan Municipality, Durga Bhawani Rural Municipality, Yamunamai Rural Municipality and Rajpur Municipality were deprived of relief owing to the bias shown by local representatives.

The victims have time and again picketed the administration to protest the fact that their names were left out from the list. On his part, ward 4 Chair of Rajdevi Municipality Shankar Raya Yadav denied there was any prejudice while collecting names of victims and distributing relief. “In fact, there are only 150 genuine victims in Laxmipur Belbichhawa, but the list prepared has 631 names, which clearly shows there was no bias. Rather, they were too generous while collecting names,” he said, adding he had only recommended relief for genuine victims.

On their part, District Disaster Management Committee coordinator and Chief District Officer Govind Rijal said their plan to send the relief amount to flood victims on the recommendation of the ward office concerned had been affected as the ward office had sent no recommendations.