HC asks govt to make revised flood compensation policy public

Srinagar: The J&K high court on Tuesday directed authorities to immediately make public the revised policy on compensation of the flood victims, failing which the divisional commissioner Kashmir will have to appear before it on August 4.
“In wake of the direction issued on May 13, authorities were directed to publish the policy arrived at on 24 April 2015. It was directed to be published in Urdu and in English newspapers within ten days so that the concerned will come to know about the same and claim compensation. No such publication has been produced before the court,” a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed after hearing Additional Advocate General Tasaduq Khawaja and other lawyers.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed in the aftermath of the last year’s flood by two lawyers, GA Lone, and Jahangir Iqbal Ganai, the incumbent advocate general of the state.
The government had informed the court in April about the policy revision after its directions following submissions by Ganai in February this year that the earlier policy was vague on certain counts.
For example, he had said, the house which have been rendered non-habitable because of severe damage due to the floods but are standing have not been categorized as fully damaged houses so as to enable the owners of such houses to get maximum compensation as is fixed for fully damaged ones.
Based on the severity of damage, the administration has separated the flood hit structures into three categories—fully, severely and partially damaged.
Nearly three hundred people were killed and 261,361 structures damaged by the devastating floods.