Chennai Floods: Government Begins Survey To Determine Compensation

09/12/2015 7:50 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Aircrafts are seen parked in the waterlogged airport after heavy rainfall in Chennai, India, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. Although floodwaters have begun to recede, vast swaths of Chennai and neighboring districts were still under 2 1/2 to 3 meters (8 to 10 feet) of water, with tens of thousands of people in state-run relief camps. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K)

The Tamil Nadu government has initiated a house-to-house survey to find and compensate the residents of houses that sustained damages during the floods so that they can be compensated.

“We’ve just started the survey and we’ve deployed 3000 people on the field to get the accurate data,” Chennai Corporation Commissioner Vikram Kapoor told Huffington Post.

The survey, besides identifying the total number of houses inundated, will also verify the real occupants--not the owners--who fell victims to the nature’s fury.

“We know many people live in rented in houses in Chennai. So, the government wants to ensure, the compensation reaches only them, not the landlords,” the corporation chief added.

According to Kapoor, the survey would be completed within a week’s time. But, how would the survey team ensure the authenticity of the occupants?

“It’s not a big issue, because, most of them have returned to Chennai and re-occupied their houses. So, I don’t think there’s a problem there,” Kapoor said.

The government has announced Rs5,000 as compensation for every house that was inundated for two full days while the actual losses suffered by people seems to be much higher. Kapoor said it won’t be possible for the government to compensate for the entire loss as it won’t be financially feasible.

Chennai has 17 lakh households. “So, even if you consider 10 lakh households are eligible for compensation, total burden on government exchequer would be to the tune of Rs500 crores,” Kapoor said.

The Rs500 crore expenditure is over and above other expenses required for reconstruction activity. “It’s an approximate figure and we’ll know the actual number of inundated houses only after the survey is completed,” said Kapoor.

The corporation commissioner, meanwhile, asserted that Chennai has almost returned to normal. “The city should be fine in the next two days,” he said.

Free Books, Uniforms To Students

Giving some relief to anxious parents who’ve already suffered heavy losses in the floods, the state government has also decided to provide free text and notebooks, besides uniforms to students.

“This will be done immediately. We don’t want the children to bear the brunt of floods. Their education shouldn’t be affected in any manner. So, the government has decided to extend this much-needed assistance,” said Kapoor.

Free Supply Of Lost Documents

People who lost their vital documents, including property papers, income and educational certificates, ration cards and the like can breathe easy.

The state government, according to Kapoor, has decided to issue duplicate copies of the lost certificates free of cost. “We’ve devised a hassle-free process to ensure quick delivery of the certificates,” Kapoor said.

Notably, the central government had earlier announced that duplicate passports would be issued to those who have lost their original ones in the rains.

Soft Loans To Small Businessmen

A lot of small-time businessmen have also suffered huge losses as rains pounded Chennai last week.

Many of them are exploring various possibilities to restart their businesses.

The government is planning to offer them soft loans with special interest rate, payable in comfortable instalments, to help them tide over the crisis, a senior government official told HuffPost India. He asked not to be named as the details are still being worked out.

“It’s a decision taken at the policy level. Discussions are under way with various stakeholders including leading banks. We’ll make formal announcement very soon,” the official said.

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