New Delhi: Teams formed by the Delhi government and the Delhi Police on Saturday reached out to the victims of violence in Northeast Delhi as part of a two-day special verification drive that seeks to establish the identity of victims and provide compensation. Till March 7 evening, the government had already disbursed over Rs 2.96 crore in compensation to 308 applicants.
On Saturday, the first day of the verification drive, the civil administration and police officers met with the victims at their places of residence and also in the relief camps that have been set up near the affected areas. In some cases, the victims were taken in vehicles to their homes so that they are present while the damaged is assessed.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had earlier announced compensation as per loss sustained. The key element is that a sum of Rs 25,000 is to be paid upfront for any loss so that the victim can meet their immediate needs.
The government has thus far compensated 46 people for total damage to houses, 143 people for substantial damage and five for minor damage. Similarly, compensation has been paid to the next of kin of 30 deceased and to 35 persons who sustained serious injuries. As many as 49 people with minor injuries have also been paid the announced compensation.
Incidentally, while 477 applications were received for loss to shops, the Delhi Government has not issued any compensation to even one. It is also yet to provide any compensation amount to any of the 21 applicants who claimed to have received minor injuries in the violence.
Several residents lauded the hastening of the verification process. One of them was Nawab Khan of Mustafabad, who claimed that rioters had burnt down his house, in which he resided with his four sons and a daughter. He said he was happy that the Delhi government has assured to compensate his loss as it would enable him to start his life afresh.
Likewise, in Shiv Vihar, a couple, Babita and Rajendra Srivastava, said the verification process has given them hope of rebuilding their lives as their two-storeyed house was burnt by arsonists. While they managed to flee and save their lives, they claimed that about Rs 15 lakh worth of jewellery that had been kept in the house for their daughter’s wedding was stolen.
Like many other residents who suffered loss of property in the violence that rocked the area from February 24 to 26, the couple is also hoping that the verification process will provide them with an opportunity to rebuild their house and get back on their feet.
Till March 6, the Delhi government had received around 1,700 compensation forms.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had, while announcing the two-day special verification drive, stated that it was aimed at “release of compensation to victims of violence”. He had added that “restoration and rehabilitation work is going on at a very fast pace, in the riot-affected areas of North East Delhi.”
Stating that sub-divisional magistrates have been deployed in different parts of the violence-hit region, Sisodia said compensation forms were given to the affected families and these were being processed to provide monetary compensation to the victims.
“We have given out Rs 25,000 as an immediate cash relief to them, and we have also collected compensation forms through which we can release the entire relief amount to the affected persons,” he added.
For the drive that began on Saturday, the Delhi government deployed six senior IAS officers. “We want to get done with the verification process at the earliest so that we can release the full compensation amount to the affected families as soon as possible,” Sisodia had said.
For evaluation of loss, the deputy CM had also declared that each floor of a house will be treated as a residential unit. The government has announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for each residential unit. For substantial damage, it had announced compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh.
Since several schools were also damaged in the area, the government had announced Rs 5 lakh in monetary relief to those with less than 1,000 students and Rs 10 lakh to those with over 1,000 students.