Govt. awaits report on compensation costs | Daily News
Kilinochchi - Mullaitivu floods

Govt. awaits report on compensation costs

Army personnel assist a flood victim in Mullaitivu in this December 2018 file photo.  Picture by Vavuniya Gr. corr.
Army personnel assist a flood victim in Mullaitivu in this December 2018 file photo. Picture by Vavuniya Gr. corr.

The families affected by Iranamadu reservoir floods in December that devastated Kilinochchi, will get all costs of flood damage reimbursed, Public Administration Disaster Management Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara yesterday told the Daily News.

“We have already provided most of the families affected by the floods in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu with an initial grant of Rs 10,000. The second phase of this grant programme will begin soon,” he said.

“The Ministry has already allocated funds to cover this,” he said.

Asked about the appropriations for total cost of recovery of damage in the two districts, Minister Madduma Bandara said, “We still don’t know the estimates. We need some assessment reports from Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu in this respect to finalise the total funding requirement.”

“The flood has damaged roads, homes, businesses and farms. We need technical reports to process financing,” he said. “No sooner than everything is in the clear, the government will pass the funding for flood recovery.”

However, as pointed out by some District Secretariat sources, the arrangement and distribution of these grants has been deadlocked for various technical and political reasons.

The financial grants for the affected flood victims were ordered by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when he visited the Kilinochchi District Secretariat in December to assess the condition of the flood victims.

He instructed the authorities to ensure that each affected family will get Rs.10,000 as initial assistance, noting that 38,000 families in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu were affected by the floods.

The Prime Minister also instructed the District Secretary on this occasion not to allow agents of microfinance companies to enter the camps of the displaced, to prevent them from being harassed by these agents over possible non-payment of their loans, Kilinochci DS sources said.

Meanwhile, a fact-finding committee appointed to ascertain whether the floods were caused by negligence of provincial Irrigation officials who had allowed opening of the tank’s sluice gates in full, has handed over its interim report to Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan.

The chairperson of the team, Engineer Ragunathan had reportedly handed it over it to Dr. Raghavan at his office.

When asked whether he was aware of the content of the report, Minister Madduma Bandara said he was away from the country, but by Friday he would get to know what it is all about.

Kilinochchi District Secretariat’s Additional Secretary S. Sathiyaseiyan when asked whether those families affected by the Iranamadu reservoir floods have received the financial grant of Rs. 10,000 said, “We are expecting it at any moment from the Disaster Management Ministry.”

“We have about 9,000 affected families in the Kilinochchi District,” he said.

Kilinochchi’s Regional Assistant Commissioner Nadarajah Pirabakaran told us that there has been much assistance from the government to rehabilitate and reconstruct their areas.

“It was not particularly since the Iranamadu floods, but assistance has been there for the past two years. There have been programmes to rehabilitate damaged temples, kovils, mosques and churches in the area, and also projects to provide electricity and drinking water,” he said.

Asked if he was aware of any flood victims obtaining Rs. 10,000 as an initial grant, Pirabakaran said he had no knowledge of that as the subject is handled by the District Secretariat.

Our attempts to contact Northern Province Governor Dr. Raghjavan over the phone on the report on the cause of Iranamadu floods to know whether bad flood management devastated Kilinochchi were futile. Neither the Governor’s Private Secretary Vatish nor his Secretary Ilangovan was available for comment.


 

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