SRINAGAR: The J&K high court has closed a Public Interest Litigation seeking proper relief and rehabilitation of 2014 flood victims, observing that “nothing survives for adjudication now.”
“It appears from the statement made by the counsel appearing for the Insurance Companies that almost majority of claims have been settled, therefore nothing survives for adjudication in the PIL,” said a division bench of Justices R Sudhakar and Dhiraj Singh Thakur while disposing off the PIL which was filed last year by two lawyers, advocate G A Lone and incumbent Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal Ganie, for adequate relief and rehabilitation of the 2014 deluge victims.
However, the court said that if any individual was aggrieved, he is at liberty to approach the Insurance Companies “which shall proceed in the matter in accordance with law.”
During the Governor’s rule which preceded the formation of PDP-BJP government, Relief and Rehabilitation Department had informed the high court that 230715 houses suffered damage in the deluge and of them 11451 (pucca) and 10903 (kucca) were fully damaged. The PDP-BJP government however revised the figures later, claiming that only 67661 houses were damaged.
Subsequently, it announced to provide Rs 3 lakh each as compensation for fully damaged pucca house, Rs 1.50 lakh for fully damaged kucha house, Rs 1 lakh for severely damaged pucca house and Rs 50000 for severely damaged kucha house.
Following the floods, then NC-congress Government submitted a proposal to the New Delhi, seeking a special financial package of Rs 44,000 crore for the rehabilitation of the affected people.
The demand included payment of ex-gratia relief of Rs 9 lakh for fully damaged pucca house, Rs 6 lakh for fully damaged kucha house, Rs 4 lakh for partially damaged kucha/pucca house including boundary walls and Rs 1 lakh for other structures, like a cow shed.
The then government had also demanded Rs 1687.50 crore to provide interest subsidy (at a 6.25% rate) on housing loans and Rs 10000 to 50000 for providing ex-gratia relief against household items damaged in the flood.
Last month, the state government informed legislative assembly that at least 20,713 cases of the flood victims have not been recommended to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for compensation.