Mamata announces Duare Tran scheme for distribution of relief, ex-gratia to Yaas-affected people
Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced Duare Tran (relief on doorstep), a government programme with initial funds of Rs 1,000 crore to distribute compensation and relief to people affected by Cyclone Yaas and to make sure that the benefits didn’t reach ineligible applicants.
The broad contours of the scheme announced by the chief minister indicated that the government would not allow any irregularities in the distribution of relief. There had been widespread anomalies in compensation delivery in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan last year.
Mamata said the programme to give relief would start on June 3 by which time the needy would be able to submit their claims to the camps that the government would set up at all affected places. The applications could be submitted till June 18.
“The government would verify all the applications between June 19 and 30 so that no genuine victim is denied his or her legitimate claims. The compensations would be sent to the bank accounts of the actual beneficiaries from July 1,” said the chief minister.
Sources said the manner in which the government planned to distribute relief bore hints that Nabanna had learnt a lesson from large-scale irregularities that had plagued the compensation distribution after Amphan.
“Two major changes in the approach of the government deserve a mention. First, the government is taking some time to verify the claims. Second, the government is keeping local bodies away from the process,” said a senior official.
In the post-Amphan period, the state government had faced complaints about severe irregularities in identifying the victims.
“The government would set up camps in the affected areas and the victims would be able to submit their claims to officials directly. Then, teams of officials would verify each of the applications. So, the chance of publishing faulty lists of beneficiaries is far less,” said an official.
The official said the plan to set up camps to receive applications from the affected was taken up following the success of Duare Sarkar camps where people had directly applied for government benefits after being denied the same.
A section of the officials said that the complaints had come up last year only because the government had wanted to distribute relief to the affected at the earliest.
“Amphan had hit the state on May 20 and the state released Rs 6,250 crore to assist the afflicted on May 29. As the window of identifying the affected was so small, the state had to depend on local bodies to draw up the lists of eligible beneficiaries. In fact, there was no such time to verify the lists and that caused the damage,” said a source.
A 2.6km stretch of an under-construction concrete guard wall along the Marine Drive or the coastal highway off East Midnapore’s Tajpur collapsed on Wednesday morning under the brunt of tidal waves during Cyclone Yaas and left 3,000 homes at 14 coastal villages prone to long-term flooding.
By Thursday morning, hundreds of families had left their mud homes after gushing water had damaged several structures. Explaining the reason for the collapse, an irrigation department official said additional support structures for the guard wall, work for which began in November, had not been installed yet.
Additional reporting by Anshuman Phadikar