Hundreds of Kurram families awaiting compensation

from DAWN Group of Newspapers
Published on 18 Jan 2019 View Original

PESHAWAR: Hundreds of families have been waiting for compensation in parts of snow-bound central tehsil of Kurram tribal district as the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) has yet to complete survey of the damaged houses, according to the affected communities.

Abdul Khaliq Pathan, a social worker from the area, said that authorities did not conduct survey of around 12,000 houses, damaged during multiple military operations against militants. He said that last return of the internally displaced persons to the area had taken place in 2017, but RRU could not be able to complete survey of damaged properties to pay them compensation.

“Approximately 12,000 houses are still in ruins and survey teams have not been deployed,” said Mr Pathan. He said that survey teams did not visit the affected area regularly in central tehsil of Kurram that caused delay in payment of compensation. Official sources said that RRU lacked funds for the last seven months that brought payment of compensation to tribal people to halt.

The previous government had launched Citizen Loss Compensation Programme (CLCP) for the militancy-hit people of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to compensate them. The government has fixed Rs400,000 for a fully damaged and Rs160,000 for partially damaged house in the five militancy-stricken tribal districts.

Officials said that 3,625 families had received Rs400,000 cash compensation each for fully damaged houses and 1,847 families for partially damaged shelters. The remaining families, who had been repatriated, did not get compensation.

The insurgency, which started in 2007, caused widespread damage to private properties in central part of Kurram, forcing thousands of families to flee their areas. Local people said that drinking water schemes and other basic facilities were not rehabilitated that forced majority of the families to flee their homes again.

“There are no education, health, drinking water, electricity and telecommunication facilities in some area. Central Kurram is not fit for living,” said Daud Khan Chamkani, another resident of the area. He said that people were running from pillar to post for compensation and rehabilitation of the damaged infrastructures.

RRU project manager Shakeel Iqbal admitted that 20 per cent houses in central Kurram had not been surveyed.

He attributed delay in survey of damaged properties to tough weather conditions, saying the process would be resumed in March next. He said that owners of the properties were also not available in some area that was also one of the reasons.

Mr Iqbal said that survey of damaged houses in North Waziristan tribal district was almost completed but the process would take time in South Waziristan, parts of Khyber and Orakzai districts as some areas were not opened for surveyors due to security reasons.

The PRU project manager said that federal government had recently released Rs5 billion to be paid to deserving families for their damaged houses. He said that teams had completed survey of 8,500 damaged houses in five districts and RRU would soon restart payment of compensation.

On the other hand, he said that over 5,000 displaced families were repatriated to their villages in central Kurram without payment of cash assistance by the disaster management authority for the seven merged tribal districts and six frontier regions. Sources said that authority had been released Rs50 million in that head, but it did not start payment.

According to the policy, the authority has to pay Rs35,000 including Rs10,000 transportation cost to every displaced family upon returning to home. Locals said that 5,365 family heads had submitted voluntary return forms to the local authorities for receiving cash grant. In addition, another 13,000 unregistered families are also waiting for cash assistance.

The residents of the area said that 400 displaced families were recently repatriated to Khoidadkhel area without payment of cash assistance and other relief items.

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