Hudhud Relief a mirage
Prime Minister Narendra Modi might be shedding tears over massive destruction of human life and property in Nepal which was ravaged by the Saturday’s earthquake. Back home, he expressed similarly sympathy to the people who lost their homes in lakhs due to the Hudhud supercyclone and announced an immediate relief of Rs 1,000 crore after making a whirlwind tour of the city on the request
Cyclone victims still wait for help; Destruction in lakhs, succour in thousands
Visakhapatnam: Prime Minister Narendra Modi might be shedding tears over massive destruction of human life and property in Nepal which was ravaged by the Saturday’s earthquake. Back home, he expressed similarly sympathy to the people who lost their homes in lakhs due to the Hudhud supercyclone and announced an immediate relief of Rs 1,000 crore after making a whirlwind tour of the city on the request of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Only 50 per cent of the money he announced reached here and less than 50 per cent of the households received funds while lakhs are still awaiting the promised money though the southwest monsoons are knocking the doors. As per the reports available, over 1.3 lakhs were destroyed in the cyclone of which 80,398 are located in the Municipal Corporation limits and remaining in the rural areas. Seven months have passed but not a single home was repaired with government help.
The District Collector has sanctioned funds for 26,823 houses under IAY scheme but work was not started for even single unit as of now. Many NGOs have come forward to fund for the reconstruction and many individuals contributed their might. With the donations, the district administration had prepared estimates worth Rs 340 crore but administration sanction was accorded to only 2,900 houses.
Later, a GO was issued under which estimates were prepared worth Rs 139 crore for constructing 800 houses in urban areas and 2,100 in the rural. Rs 4 lakh was earmarked for each house in urban area and Rs 3.8 lakh for rural area. Of this, donors’ contribution was Rs 2 lakh for each unit in the urban and Rs 1.99 in the rural. The government share was Rs 1.78 lakh in the urban and Rs 1.82 lakh in the rural.
The beneficiaries were asked to contribute Rs 10,000 in the urban areas and Rs 5,000 in the rural areas for construction of individual latrines. Social activist J Ratnam said over 1.4 lakh houses were destroyed in Visakhapatnam district which bore the brunt of the Hudhud cyclone and another two lakhs in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. “The government sanctioned Rs 5,000 to the people whose houses were destroyed partially and Rs 25,000 for complete destruction.
When the individual latrines cost Rs 12,000 as per the government how people will repair homes with just Rs 5,000,” he questioned. Ratnam himself incurred an expenditure of Rs 10 lakh while receiving donated material worth Rs 3 crore. A senior official of the district administration told this correspondent here on Monday that 1,43,003 individuals were sanctioned relief for the damages and money was transferred to 1,10, 633 individual accounts as per the treasury records.
The sub-treasury officials deleted the names of 20,129 beneficiaries due to `error’ in transfer. “I am still making rounds of the Tahsildar office just for Rs 5,000,” said Vasupalle Appayamma, a resident of Vasuvanipalem located on the beach front.Her two bedroom house was razed to the ground in the cyclone and has been living in the makeshift house since seven months. Like her, thousands have to face the monsoons and the winter living in the jhuggies which were once their homes.
However, the visit of District Collector N Yuvaraj, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Kumar and East Godavari MLA Velagapudi Ramakrishnababu to Pedajalaripeta on Monday raised the hopes of the fisherfolk. Reports said the Chief Minister will lay the foundation on April 29 for the construction of Rs 10,000 houses to be built with the funds to be given by the MNCs under the CSR programme. Of this, 6,000 would be allocated in the rural area, 2,000 in urban and 168 in the agency. Houses would come up in Pedajalaripeta in the city and Pudimadaka in the rural, both on the beach front.