MANDI BAHAUDDIN

A large number of flood victims have criticized the government for non-payment of relief assistance announced by the Punjab chief minister. Most of them alleged that their names were not included in the list during assessment survey while others complained that their names were included in the assessment survey list but were denied payment.

There are others who said that there were cases where more than one members of a family received the compensation. They also alleged that disbursement was being made on political basis as the names included in the lists were of those who are favourites and close to political personalities and revenue field staff.

When contacted Additional District Collector Waseem Abbas said that payment under second instalment of relief assistance was almost complete in the district, which was according to the list received from the Punjab Disaster Management Authority. The ADC informed that a total of 7,400 flood affectees were paid compensation besides 2,263 beneficiaries BISP residing in flood affected villages were also paid Rs10,000 each. Similarly, the farmers were paid for losses to crops at the rate of Rs10,000 per Acre while those with damaged houses were paid Rs80,000 per house fully damaged and Rs40,000 per house partially damaged. He said tha tthree Rehabilitation Centres at Saida, Mong and Malakwal were established, adding that Rs260,000,000 had been paid as compensation in the district so far.

He said in view of approaching winter about 800 quilts had been distributed among the flood-hit people. When his attention was drawn to complaints of flood victims regarding non-payment of relief assistance, he said such complaints were pouring in large numbers and there was appellant committee headed by retired Sessions Judge Ch Muhammad Hussain Maken to decide them and recommend proper action for relief.

He told media that the joint teams of Nadra and PDMA conducted assessment survey with the assistance of field staff of revenue and agriculture departments under third party system to ensure transparency and list of flood hit persons with details of their houses and crops damaged were prepared. The ADC declared that no one raised any objection at that time. He, however, assured that complaints received would be decided on merit and it would be ensured that no genuine flood victim was left uncompensated.