WAZIRABAD/HAFIZABAD

Thousands of flood affectees who were deprived of compensation by the government have complained against alleged injustice in the distribution of relief packages because of favouritism of Wazirabad officials concerned.

The floods had caused heavy damage to their crops, animals and houses in dozens of villages on the left bank of River Chenab in Tehsil Wazirabad. The Punjab government had allocated huge funds to compensate the affectees but due to irregularities committed by the local administration and revenue staff, a large number of the victims were deprived of the relief package while undeserving persons were awarded with the compensation amount. Thus, the officials made the government programme ineffective leaving the deserving flood affectees in the lurch, the victims said.

The Punjab government spent Rs150 million in food programme, Rs250 million as compensation for loss of crops, Rs 45 million as compensation of cattle loss while blankets and quilts were also distributed to the affectees. The collective money spent in this regard was Rs500 million.

As per a report, the owners of 12.5 acres of agri land were declared deserving for compensation at the rate of Rs10,000 per acres or maximum Rs125,000 per affectee. The local officials included the names of 12 members of a family of their associates who were granted Rs1.7 million, a victim alleged. For the loss of cattle, the Livestock Department had reported the loss of 37 cattle out of which 13 were saved near Khanki Head Works. However, a fake list was prepared and 270 cows and buffaloes and 126 goats and sheep worth Rs40.5 million were distributed to the farmers, he said.

The people from villages Katthor, Mansoor Wali, Raniki and Manzoorabad where no sign of flood was found also got compensation. One of the so-called flood affectees of Mansoorwali was given 28 cattle, sources said. During distribution of compensation, thousands of flood affected held protest against the corruption.

According to reports, more than 41,000 had applied for relief and later the deprived victims complained against the irregularities to CM House by posts. Socio-political circles of Wazirabad and representatives of flood affected people demanded action against the corrupt officials, and early payment of compensation to them.

Likewise, the growers of 10 villages of Hafizabad whose crops worth millions of rupees were destroyed and hundreds of cattle were perished in April last due to severe windstorm, rain and hailstorm, protested against the apathy of the district administration for not providing them with compensation even after the passage of eight months.

The villagers of Muradian, Kotli Ameer Singh, Kot Gora, Thakar Dawara, Kot Surah, Ahmadpur Chattha, Sagar Khurd, Shori Chattha, Hardo Dhanoway, Thatha Kalian said that due to severe hailstorm, windstorm and rain, they were inflicted huge losses in April 2014. The district administration, on the directive of the chief minister, conducted a survey of the losses and sent its recommendation to the provincial government but after the lapse of eight months not even a single penny was provided to them, they regretted. “Since then, we have been going from pillar to post for getting compensation but to no avail,” they said.

Awami Mahaz President Rana Khalid Mehmood warned that if compensation was not provided to the affectees they would be constrained to a stage sit-in in front of the Chief Minister Secretariat on December 16.