Racket to corner relief money on Chhattisgarh police radar

By Sandeep Pauranik

Raipur, Jan 23 (IANS): In a unique initiative to prevent victims of disaster from getting fleeced by brokers, Chhattisgarh's Korba police have formed a compensation cell to facilitate the affected and keep the fraudsters at bay.

The state and Central governments provide compensation to the people affected by various disasters. The benefits of many schemes reach the affected when their applications reach the administration on time and brokers take advantage of this situation. The also take advantage that the government process is complicated.

To save the victims from the vicious circle of these brokers, the Korba police have formed a compensation cell, which maintains direct contact with the victims and facilitates them in getting the solatium.

Chhattisgarh is a tribal dominated area where a large number of people fall prey to disasters. The government has provision of providing compensation for untimely deaths in accidents, including by drowning, snake bite, rape victims, victims of violence, natural calamities among others.

Korba SP Bhojram Patel said that during his earlier postings, he found that the disaster victims have to face many difficulties in getting compensation and the brokers take advantage of the situation. It happens because the accident case is registered with the police and compensation is received from the administrative department -- tehsildar, Sub Divisional Officer and District Magistrate.

In many cases, the victims are deprived of the compensation due to non-fulfilment of the paper work required by the police, as such cases need to be disposed off within three months.

Patel said after the cases are lodged in police stations, the case file reaches the staff posted in the compensation cell which review it and send it to the concerned official for quick disposal, so that the affected family draws the benefit of the government schemes and compensation amount in time.

People living in the rural areas are less aware of the government schemes. To help the villagers, the police have adopted a unique method under which the police collects the population data of each village through kotwars.

Patel said that the kotwars keep a record of the births and deaths in their villages and the police checks the statistics. When somebody passes away in a village, the cause of the death is ascertained and if the death has occurred due to natural calamity, then the process of preparing a case is initiated.

Patel said that on the one hand, the victim sells his property to get rid of his problem while on the other hand, brokers in the name of getting them their compensation fleece them of their money. With this system, the victims are getting their right and it is hoped that it will instil confidence in the public about the government and administration.

Usually, the police take action on complaints and crime reports but the Korba police have come up with this innovation to help the disaster victims.

With the innovation, on the one hand the victims will get their due share while on the other hand, brokers will be unable to swindle their money.



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