Anindo Dey, TNN Jul 19, 2011, 03.01am IST
JAIPUR: At a time when the government, moved by the plight of the Sahariyas in the state, announced a special package for their rehabilitation, it is these tribals that seem to have been most-affected in the aftermath of the floods in Baran. Independent surveys suggest there are at least 200 Sahariya families in Kishanganj whose houses have been affected but their names do not figure in the list of those who are to be provided compensation.
According to Lakhan Salvi of the Hadauti Media Research centre, which conducted a survey of the flood-hit areas, "Survey by the patwari after the floods in the area covered 36 villages under 17 gram panchayats and identified 860 damaged houses. But we have traced at least 243 houses, of which 200 belong to Sahariyas. The houses are damaged but have not been enlisted for compensation." "Patwari Ramesh Chandre said that he had submitted the report to the tehsildar, Bashir Mohammed, while the later maintained that a review of the survey will be ordered and if the houses are damaged they would be paid compensation," Salvi added.
The bias in the payment of compensation to flood victims, according to the Centre's survey, extends to others also. The survey disclosed that under the Cheenod village under Kishanganj tehsil, over 25 houses have been damaged but many have not got compensation. According to the Cheenod sarpanch, Hemraj, Jigraj, Morepla, Devendra, Puranmal and a few other people had intimated him about their damaged houses. Though the information was sent to the tehsildar's office, no name figures in the list of those to be given compensation.
Officials say over 10,000 houses were damaged in the floods. While 350 houses were washed away, 800 were badly damaged, 9,800 were partially damaged while 84 huts got washed away. Later, a total of Rs 2.25 crore was sanctioned by the disaster management department for compensation.
The survey identified many people in the Kishanganj tehsil whose houses were damaged and were covered by the patwari in his survey but their names did not figure in the compensation list. Morepal Gujjar, a disabled person of Rundi under the Kishanganj tehsil was covered in the survey but got no compensation.
Ramcharan Sahariya's one-room house was swept away in Dandra in Sodana but his name does not figure in the list. At present, he has left the village.
However, Gayatri Sahariya of Dandra in Sodana, who had saved every penny to build a one-room house, saw the front wall of her house being washed away. Her door was swept away as she took shelter in her neighbour's house. She received a compensation of mere Rs 1,500 which is too less to start life all over again.
When contacted, officials of the district refuted claims of any bias in giving compensations. "There may be some people who have been unintentionally left away from the survey. We will ensure that they get their compensation," they said.