State

Rs.40 lakh released for Kohima as immediate relief

Correspondent KOHIMA, SEP 10 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/10/2018 1:24:47 PM IST

Kohima District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has released an amount of Rs 40 lakh as immediate relief for persons affected by the recent natural calamity and temporary road restoration works.

Interacting with media persons here on Monday, DC Kohima Rajesh Soundararajan said 1,300 families were affected in Kohima district till August 29 due to damaged caused to property, paddy fields, plantations and livestock. DC said, as per SDRF norms, Rs 5,000 was released to the affected families for one month.

Stating that SDRF forms were issued to those whose properties were severely damaged, the DC added the final relief would be released by Central government, along with different entitlements. Soundararajan insisted that, considering the vulnerability of the soil, citizens should opt for scientific house construction.

He also informed the media that the district administration was conducting survey of all affected areas, while alleging that some people were taking advantage of the situation to submit false claims.

He warned that people found involved in such activities would be strictly dealt with and asked them not to take advantage of people’s miseries.

Landslide-affected Kohima residents in horns of dilemma: Many citizens affected by the recent devastating landslides and sinking caused by monsoon rains in Pezielietsie here are wondering whether to rebuild their damaged houses at the current location or relocate to their villages, considering the risks of further damage in future.

Pezielietsie colony in the State Capital was among worst affected colonies. Altogether 35 houses were damaged and over 50 families were forced to vacate their houses.

The natural catastrophe had left many people high and dry as many who had invested their entire lives’ earnings in constructing houses were suddenly rendered homeless as many of them were pensioners and widowers.  

Interacting with media persons here on Monday afternoon, retired policeman, Neihu Theünuo said he had spent all his life’s earnings in purchasing a plot of land and constructing a house in the hope of leading a peaceful retired life in the State Capital. However, stating that his house was completely damaged due to sinking, he expressed doubts whether he would ever be able to rebuild it as the entire area now posed a serious threat for human habitation.

 He said he was now considering abandoning the plot and relocating to his native village. 

Theünuo explained that he built a makeshift house for his family below his affected house and expressed his gratitude to the landowner for allowing him to build the makeshift house without charging any rent.

He informed reporters that, as sinking began last monsoon, he along with colony residents had applied for relief through State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). However, he alleged that after making him sign on several papers, an amount of Rs 3,200 was released. He wondered how such a paltry amount of money would help in a major sinking area.

Another affected person, Theyephu Rhakho, said barely had he finished construction of the house from a bank loan that it was completely damaged. 

Mentioning that he had shifted his family to Kezekie area, he added that he was not sure whether to re-construct the house or leave the area altogether as it had been rendered unsafe and might witness even worse disaster next monsoon. 

Other affected residents of the area also shared similar stories and expressed apprehension whether their plots would even exist after a few years.

They lamented that had the half-constructed drains in three locations were not abandoned by the State government or at least preventive measures taken, the landslide would not have occurred so much.

Many houses damaged this monsoon already bore cracks since the last monsoon and these were brought to the notice of the concerned department, but of no avail.

However, despite the chaos and hardships, the affected families expressed their gratitude to Kohima District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for providing them relief, a church organisation for providing Rs 10,000 and NDPP, NGOs and other organisations for providing them food items and cash. They were also grateful to youth from other colonies for extending their helping hand in shifting materials of the affected people.

According to the affected families, they had spent approximately Rs 25-30 lakh each in constructing their individual houses.

 

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