Express News Service
KOLKATA: Stung by criticism over alleged corruption in cyclone Amphan relief distribution last year, the West Bengal government has decided to distribute compensation for cyclone Yaas victims bypassing the leaders of civic bodies.
CM Mamata Banerjee has made it clear that separate task forces, set up at the state, district, sub-divisional and block levels, will work under the direct supervision of the chief secretary and for managing cyclone Yaas relief operations.
“The government’s own machinery will be engaged to ensure compensation for those who deserve. No party worker or local leaders will be engaged in the process of identifying cyclone victims,” Banerjee said.
In the run-up to the Assembly elections earlier this year, the BJP had accused several TMC functionaries of forcing cyclone Amphan victims to pay “cut-money” and siphoning off money sent by the Centre for cyclone Amphan relief.
“The CM had expressed her displeasure over the issue of post-Amphan ‘corruption’, which surfaced during an inquiry. In many cases, members of gram panchayats or panchayat samities or their relatives were found siphoning off compensation money,” an official in the state secretariat said.
The government has now engaged six nodal departments agriculture, disaster management, animal resources development, horticulture, fisheries and MSME to identify beneficiaries of cyclone Yaas.
It has also decided to set up camps from June 3 to 18 under ‘Duare Tran’. “The camps will be held in the affected areas and victims can apply for compensation. The applications will be verified between June 19 and 30, and compensation credited to bank accounts from July 1 to 8,” said the official.
A compensation of Rs 20,000 per household will be paid to those whose house was completely destroyed in the cyclone. For partial damage, Rs 5,000 will be paid per household. For crop loss, it has been fixed from Rs 1,000 to 2,500, but can be increased depending on the extent of the damage