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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Gujarat: 73k people compensated with Rs 3.5 cr in cyclone-hit districts

In Amreli, the worst-affected district among the three, a total of 25,616 individuals were paid Rs 1.26 crore cash doles until Monday evening.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
May 26, 2021 4:30:53 am
A damaged house in Moti Vadal village of Bhavnagar. (Express Photo)

MORE THAN 73,000 people affected by cyclone Tauktae were handed over Rs 3.5 crore in compensation by the state government in Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir Somnath even as teams continue to survey the damage wreaked by the cyclone in the three coastal districts, officers said Tuesday. Over 85,000 houses in the three districts have been damaged due to the ‘extremely severe cyclone’.

In Amreli, the worst-affected district among the three, a total of 25,616 individuals were paid Rs 1.26 crore cash doles until Monday evening. Amreli district collector Ayush Oak said the number of beneficiaries was expected to go up to 35,000 individuals by Tuesday evening.

In Bhavnagar district, 29,754 individuals were handed out compensation worth Rs 1.74 crore, collector Gaurang Makwana said. In Gir Somnath, 8,500 people have been handed out cash doles, amounting to Rs 47.61 crore at Una, Gir Gadhada and Kodinar talukas.

“According to our primary estimate, some 50,000 to 60,000 people in the district will be eligible for the cash doles and of them, around 35,000 eligible beneficiaries will be handed out cash doles by Tuesday evening. These are people living three kilometres inside from the coast and who had been asked to evacuate to safer places on their own on May 16 and 17 as well as those who had to be shifted to cyclone shelters on May 18, immediately after the cyclone made landfall,” Oak told The Indian Express.

According to the Gujarat government resolution, people who had to evacuate from their homes on the seacoast on May 16 and 17 will be eligible to get cash doles at the rate of Rs 100 per day for seven days. Minors are eligible to get Rs 60 cash dole per day for a week. Those who had to be evacuated in the aftermath of the cyclone are eligible to get an equal amount of cash doles for three days, the resolution states. However, people who had been evacuated by the government from vulnerable areas and accommodated in institutional cyclone shelters are not eligible for cash doles.

The work to hand out cash doles to the rest of beneficiaries would be completed within next two days, Oak said.

Tauktae, the extremely severe cyclonic storm, had made landfall between Una in Gir Somnath and Rajula in Amreli district on May 17 evening, with the coastal areas experiencing winds gusting at 185 km per hour and torrential rain. The cyclone left a trail of destruction in its wake, damaging thousands of kuccha houses, uprooting orchards, killing thousands of livestock heads. It also left 26 people dead in Amreli, 14 in Gir Somnath and nine in Bhavnagar.

Besides handing out cash doles to the affected people, the state government teams are also surveying damages to household goods, like ration, grocery, clothing, etc, besides houses, cattle sheds, livestock and loss of human lives.

The government has announced ex gratia compensation under seven heads — cash doles, gharvakkhari (household goods), partially damaged homes, fully damaged homes, damaged to cattle sheds, loss of livestock and loss of human life. The government will pay Rs 25,000 for partially damaged authorised or unauthorised homes and Rs 95,100 for fully damaged authorised homes. Owners of damaged huts will be eligible for Rs 10,000 ex gratia compensation. Owners of cattle sheds will get Rs 5,000 compensation.

The state government had started surveying the damage caused by the cyclone from May 21 onwards after the Chief Minister visited the affected coastal areas.

“As per our primary estimate, 64,899 houses have suffered damages due to the cyclone in Amreli district and of them, our teams have surveyed 43,000, so far. As per the government rule, houses which have suffered 15 per cent or more damage would be eligible for compensation. As per primary reports from the field, around 60 per cent of houses which have suffered damage due to cyclone will be eligible for ex gratia compensation in the district,” Oak said. The government would start crediting compensation amount to bank accounts of eligible beneficiaries from the next month, he said.

Bhavnagar collector Gaurang Makwana said 8,611 houses have been damaged by the cyclone in Mahuva, Jesar, Talaja, Palitana, Sihor and Vallabhipur talukas of the district and 3,353 families have been identified as eligible beneficiaries for compensation against loss of gharvakhari. “Total 462 cattle heads have been lost to the cyclone. Horticulture crop in some 30,000 hectares has also been damaged,” he added.

Mahuva sub-divisional magistrate Pankaj Valvai said more than 50,000 chicken were killed after the roofs of four organised poultry farms had collapsed.

In Gir Somnath, collector Ajay Prakash said the field survey of affected areas was nearing completion. Besides 8,500 individuals who have been paid cash doles, 7,500 families have been found eligible for gharvakhari compensation. “Additionally, 11,900 houses have been partially damaged while 51 houses have been fully damaged. The cyclone has also left 4,612 livestock heads dead,” he said. Prakash added 300 fishing boats in Nava Bandar and Saiyad Rajapara harbours have suffered damages. Of them, 28 are fully damaged, he said.

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