7 months after Dalgate inferno victims await compensation

More than seven months after the deadly blaze destroyed sixteen residential structures at Khalpora area in Dalgate here the victims are  awaiting the compensation.

The victims told Kashmir Vision that they were given very meagre amount by the authorities to reconstruct their houses.

“It is not possible to construct my house back in just Rs 50,000,” says 45 year-old Khateeja Bano who lost her everything to the devastating fire.

“Recently, I bought timber for the construction of my house and it cost me around Rs 22,000. Now, one can guess that how expensive things are in market and how difficult is to rebuilt the structure back,” Khateeja said.

She alleged that many of the victims were given Rs 1 lakh for the reconstruction of their damaged structures, however, authorities are saying that there has been no discrimination in the amount that has been reimbursed.

“It is indiscrimination with us. We want the authorities to look into the matter,” Khateeja added.

Another fire victim, Ali Mohd Sheikh (50) said that he received the cost of Rs 1 lakh as the compensation from the government.

“I am working as porter with the Army and I am earning Rs 5,000-6,000 per month. But such poor amount from the government side is not going to help me to reconstruct my house,” he said.

They appealed the authorities to help them on humanitarian grounds and provide them with handsome compensation so that they can reconstruct their houses at the earliest.

Besides the high flames of the deadly fire on the day, one elderly person had also died in the fire incident. The deceased was identified as Muhammad Ramzan Sheikh (70).

The fire broke out on the morning of 22st November 2016 from a residential house and engulfed the nearby structures in the highly congested area.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone termed the allegations of ‘indiscrimination’ as baseless.

“All the fire victims have been provided the handsome compensation, equally under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF),” the DC said.

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