Jagatsinghpur, Oct 28 (LocalWire): Even after 20 years of the super cyclone, a widow is still struggling to get a housing scheme and ex-gratia for the death of her daughter.
Entangled in a series of court proceedings, the district administration has now woken up to settle the compensation claims of nearly 2,000 people who lost their kith and kin on 29 nd 30 October, 1999.
Earlier, Orissa High Court had issued a show cause contempt proceeding against the Jagatsinghpur District Collector for defiance of its earlier directions.
After intervention of High Court, administration solved many compensation dispute cases but still, hundreds of cyclone-affected people are still left in the lurch.
The government had announced Rs 75,000 ex-gratia compensation to bereaved families in the aftermath of the super-cyclone.
While Rs 50,000 were borne by the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund (PMRF), the rest was shouldered by chief minister’s relief fund.
Jagatsinghpur district, the worst-ravaged during the cyclone, had accounted for 7,251 human casualties.
Though the administration disbursed majority cases, many cyclone-affected people who lost their belongings have not yet received compensation till date.
Sulachana Behera hailing from Khati Korada under Gadbaishnupur panchyat had lost her nineteen-year-old daughter Sanjukta Behera as she was washed away by tidal waves during last super cyclone.
She also lost her husband after a few years and is living with her only son who is unemployed.
She did not get compensation because as she had no money to file a writ petition in the Orissa High Court.
Sarpanch of Gadbaishnupur panchayat Sujata Behera said, ‘Behera is living in a pathetic condition although she is eligible under the PMAY.
All these years, officials silently sat over this sensitive issue adding to her plight.
Only after the court intervened, the officials have woken up but still the victims who failed to file a writ petition have not got compensation,’
As per official reports, 7,090 persons had perished in the Super Cyclone.
Unofficially though, the death toll was around 10,000.
However, the district administration provided ex-gratia payment to the family members of only 4,261 victims.
Many victims were never found or even identified.
Many were left uncovered from ex-gratia since they were found wanting in legal guardian record.
About 100 left-out relatives of cyclone victims had moved the High Court seeking judicial intervention in the matter. In majority cases, the HC has ordered in favour of the petitioners.
Deputy Collector (emergency) Kayalan Saurav Das confessed ‘by the directive of Orissa High Court, nearly 52 cases have been considered to get compensation so administration had sent the name of these beneficiaries to Special Relief Commissioner to release fund towards distribution of ex-gratia while 18 cases have been identified as genuine as per norms and condition so these eighteen beneficiaries will get compensation very soon after release of fund from SRC.’