Thursday, 26 May, 2022
HomeIndiaCongress accuses BJP-led Gujarat govt of favouritism in disbursing Tauktae cyclone package

Congress accuses BJP-led Gujarat govt of favouritism in disbursing Tauktae cyclone package

As Congress held a protest demanding a new survey to assess the damage, state minister B Chudasama dismissed the demand and said people are 'satisfied' with government's package.

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Ahmedabad: The Congress on Wednesday alleged discrepancies and favouritism by the BJP government in Gujarat in the disbursement of what it called a “paltry” relief package to the victims of the Tauktae cyclone and protested at the state secretariat in Gandhinagar demanding a new survey to assess the damage.

A Congress MLA alleged some BJP leaders and their supporters, living in “posh bungalows”, had claimed a compensation of Rs 95,000 by showing that their houses had collapsed in the cyclone.

Refuting these allegations, state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama dismissed the demand to conduct a survey again and said the people are “satisfied” with the government’s package.

Police, meanwhile, detained Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, and 20 MLAs of the Congress in Gandhinagar, including state unit president Amit Chavda, for staging a protest on the premises of the state secretariat without permission. “They will be released soon,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police, M K Rana.

Before being detained by the police, Dhanani told media persons the government’s package of Rs 1,000 crore was not enough to compensate the loss caused to the poor villagers during the cyclone, which had hit the Gujarat coast on May 17 near Una town in the Gir-Somnath district with a very high speed, causing widescale damage in coastal areas.

The Centre had announced a relief package of Rs 1,000 crore in the aftermath of the cyclone while the Gujarat government earmarked Rs 500 crore for farmers and Rs 105 crore for fishermen as the special package.

“As against a loss of Rs 15,000 crore (in the cyclone), the government had announced a relief package of just Rs 1,000 crore for the cyclone-hit people. Unfortunately, many deserving people are still awaiting compensation even after 100 days (post the cyclone fury). On the other hand, many non-affected people have wrongfully claimed the relief money,” claimed Dhanani.

He also claimed that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani did not meet them on Wednesday, following which the Congress MLAs decided to gather near the statue of Mahama Gandhi on the secretariat premises.

“We want the government to conduct a fresh survey of the loss and damage caused by the cyclone and announce the compensation accordingly. Affected people, who are living without a roof on their head, must get the compensation,” he added.

Senior Congress leader and Una MLA Punja Vansh alleged “huge discrepancies and irregularities” in the calculation and award of the compensation offered by the government.

“While deserving people were left out, people who had lost nothing got the relief money. BJP leaders and their supporters, who are living in posh bungalows claimed a compensation of Rs 95,000 by showing that their houses had collapsed in the cyclone. The government must conduct a fresh survey so that genuine people get the compensation,” Vansh said.

Chudasama, however, dismissed the demand for a fresh assessment.

“A new survey will not be conducted. People are satisfied with our package and the survey of the loss. Our package for the farmers was much higher in comparison to what was offered in other states. For the first time, we had announced compensation for fishermen and salt-pan workers,” he told media persons.

Also read: Hit by Covid, cyclone & high fuel price, India’s fishing industry finds itself marooned


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