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Almost a year after cloudburst, funds yet to reach many Leh residents

Leh , Sat, 25 Jun 2011 ANI

Leh, June 25(ANI): Almost a year after cloudburst hit Jammu and Kashmir's Leh district killing over 190 persons, funds are yet to reach many victims while residents are struggling to rehabilitate their homes and lives.


Hundreds went missing and several thousands were rendered homeless on the intervening night of August 5-6, after the flash floods triggered by the cloudburst flattened their homes.


According to official records, 158 families have been rehabilitated with a new house and basic amenities to begin life anew.


Nevertheless, funds have still not found their way into homes of many victims though the District Commissioner assures 'technical hassles' would soon be solved.


"At present, 783 families have received the first installment of 1,00,000 rupees and the reason that some have not received the compensation is because names of many local residents were misspelt on the relief case list.


Each victim was asked to open a bank account and the money would directly go into the payee account," said T. Angchok, District Commisioner, Ladakh.


"The names on the bank list did not match to that mentioned on relief list. For example, Tsering was written as Chhering on some lists. As a result, the poor beneficiary fails to match his name and does not get the amount. This is being rectified, corrected and now victims will soon avail the amount," he addedbout 665 houses were completely destroyed and victims were promised two lakh rupees from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund, while one lakh rupees was promised to the ones, who suffered partial destruction of their houses.


Leh Hill Council has already sent a project proposal of 133 crore rupees to the Central Government for permanent restoration of the region but the funds are yet to be released.


These funds were to be used for road infrastructure and electricity that suffered heavy damage.


Flashfloods and mudslides swept the road links and bridges in the area. The deluge damaged hospitals, schools, government buildings, bus terminals, radio station transmitter, telephone exchange and mobile-phone towers.


Meanwhile, families living in Saboo village, the epicenter of flash floods, feel grateful that at least their homes received enough support to build new homes within a year, but added that the government could do much more to help rebuild lives.


"In August, we thought it was impossible to stay in the village after the floods and it would take decades to rebuild the village again. We had begun to feel hopeless, but the government came to our rescue. The civilians put up a brave front in the aftermath and within the next few days of the disaster, some roads were cleared, temporary bridges were built," said Tsering Uru, head, Saboo Village.


"At least we got an option to travel from one village to another for sometime. But I hope this support continues because still a lot of construction work needs to be completed around here," he added.


Five villages, Saboo, Phyang, Nimoo, Choglamsar and Shapoo were the worst hit. Old Leh city was also among the worst affected.


The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Indian Army was at the forefront of rescue attempts after floods and continues to help rehabilitate residents with government support in areas devastated by the natural disaster. By Pooja Shali (ANI)


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