Flood Victims Await Relief : One Window Policy Bars Relief Agencies To Enter

Hundreds of flood-hit families have been taking shelter at public places and local schools and living on empty stomachs for want of relief and relocation left without any relief

Aug. 17, 2017, 8:53 a.m.

With a decision of the government to carry out mammoth relief and rehabilitation work single-handedly aftermath of the flood, hundreds of flood-hit families have been taking shelter in public places and local schools and living on empty stomachs for want of relief and relocation left without any relief.

After the decision of Ministry of Home Affairs not to allow any individual, Non-governmental organizations to involve in the relief operation, the relief operation is limited by the government own capacity.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has prohibited the organizations and individuals from collecting funds under the pretext of distributing relief to flood and landslide survivors.

 “Any organization or individual willing to support the disaster victims may deposit the amount in the bank accounts in an easy manner. Therefore, the MoHA will initiate legal action against anyone involved in collecting and causing to collect the amount willfully,” read the notice.

Earlier, Home Minister Janardan Sharma the instruction during a meeting of Central Natural Disaster Rescue Committee saying donations made by individuals and non-government organizations would have to be deposited at the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund for distribution.

A delegation led by Rashtriya Janta Party Nepal (RJPN ) leaders demanded to set up high-level National Level Reconstruction Authority to carry out relief and rehabilitation program demanding to release 26 billion rupees immediately.RJP_PM-Meet.jpg

“People are dying in Madhesh without relief operation due to one window policy of the government. This government is not committed to the welfare and life of people,” said Sarita Giri, leader of Sanghiya Samajbadi Party.

Public places and community schools in many areas of eastern and central Terai are filled with flood victims awaiting government’s relief and relocation.

People have been taking shelter in the open after the collapse of our house in floods. The government has remained apathetic towards people's woes at a time when we don’t even have daily essentials,” said Giri.

The flood-hit areas, meanwhile, reek of animal carcasses and rotten food. Those stranded there fear an outbreak of an epidemic. A large quantity of foodstuff, including rice, lentils, and wheat stored in several godowns has gone rotten. Besides, floods have destroyed planted paddy and other crops.

With the growing pressure from Terai, a meeting of the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund Committee has decided to release Rs 1 billion balance left in the fund to the flood and landslide victims hit hard across the nation.

The meeting chaired by the National Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Dr. Swarnim Wagle made the decision as stated in the statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

Chairperson of the Committee Dr. Wagle said the balance of Rs 1 billion left in the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund would be transferred to the Central Disaster Rescue Fund under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

He further said Rs 500 million would be released immediately to CDRF to carry out rescue operations, distribute relief items and provide compensations to the flood and landslide victims.

However, additional Rs 500 million would be released as per the request of the Home Affairs, Chiranjeevi Paudle joint secretary at the OPMCM said in the statement.khando-dam.jpg

The meeting also decided to terminate bank accounts with balance less than Rs 5 million opened under the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund in Banajiya Banks.

More than 26 districts in Terai region were badly affected by flash floods triggered by incessant rainfall for more than four days.

At least 111 people have lost their lives and more than 3 dozen people were reported missing in flood and landslide across the nation. Property worth millions of rupees was destroyed as most parts in the Terai was inundated by the flash flood.

Many people and vehicles were stranded as bridges were swept away and boulders of landslide and landslips had halted vehicular movement along the East-West Highway, which is yet to resume its operation.

 

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