Relief distribution to flood victims on HC radar

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu regions to file detailed information regarding mechanism in place for regulating the distribution of relief to the flood victims by the NGOs, individuals and companies in the state.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Dhiraj Singh Thakur asked the Commissioners to file the details by November 18.
The directions by the bench followed submission by petitioner-in-person advocate G A Lone that many people or NGOs are providing relief to the flood victims but there is no mechanism for its regulation in place across the state. The court also gave liberty to advocate Lone to raise other issues related to the affected families on the next date of hearing.
In another direction, the court asked Director Information to get a public notice published in two daily newspapers, both in Kashmir and Jammu divisions, in which all those persons rendered homeless by recent floods and accommodated in the tented accommodations, be asked to approach the Deputy Commissioners concerned by filing an application.
In the application, the homeless shall indicate that they are still living in the tents and have not been provided safe accommodation to avert the adverse affects of winter chill.
While directing that publication of the notice within two days, the court directed the affected people to approach the Deputy Commissioners concerned within three days after the notice is published.
“This information be also published electronic media,” the bench said and asked the Deputy Commissioners to verify the claims and file the report before the court by or before next date of hearing in the PIL on Tuesday.
The court has already asked government to rehabilitate people rendered homeless by the devastating floods in September. At least 4.5 million people, over 65 percent of the total population in the Kashmir region, have been affected by the deluge and many have been left homeless.
“Most of the flood-hit families are residing in tented accommodations and it shall not be feasible in view of the severe cold during nights. Therefore, they are required to be rehabilitated in a manner so to protect them against vagaries of weather and harshness of coming winter season,” the court had said in an order last month.
The court also allowed prayer by senior Additional Advocate General, S.A.Naik, for filing response to November 10 order.