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Ex-gratia for flood victims’ kin

Calcutta, Dec. 5: The Uttarakhand government and the Centre today sent compensation for the next of kin of 28 tourists from Bengal missing since the June floods in the northern state, presuming them to be dead.

According to government records, 38 tourists from Bengal had been missing after the cloudburst. The Bengal government collected information about 28 of them and sent the papers to the Uttarakhand government and the Centre. The relevant documents on the remaining 10 will be sent “soon”, officials said.

Although a missing person is officially declared dead after seven years, the government of the state from where he has been missing can award compensation after a few months under the category “presumed dead”, treating the case as a special one.

The Bengal government today received Rs 98 lakh for the next of kin of the 28 tourists.

“The Uttarakhand government has awarded Rs 1.5 lakh for the next of kin of each missing tourist while the Centre has given Rs 2 lakh each. The compensation cheques will be handed over soon,” a senior official at Nabanna said.

The resident commissioner of Bengal in Delhi, Bhaskar Khulbe, today came to Nabanna and collected all related papers about the 10 missing tourists whose families are yet to be sanctioned their compensation.

“He will submit the papers at the earliest. We will try to ensure that the next of kin of the 10 victims get the relief as early as possible,” an official said in Calcutta.