Poor Relief For Manipur Quake Victims
NEW DELHI: Earthquake hit Manipur has not recovered even after a week, with government apathy adding to the residents woes. Repeated assurances that relief would be made available to all remain empty promises, with anger building in the quake affected areas.
Reports suggest a lack of shelters, with even the distribution of food to the victims unequal at best. The worst affected in the region is Senapati district. The government has decided to provide an ex gratia of Rs-1 lakh to build the damaged houses but the distribution of this is sadly wanting.
Speaking to The Citizen, the chief secretary, Manipur, Oinam Nabakishore said, “We have been constantly monitoring. I differ on the claim of non availability of the relief measures. Last night the Chief Minister visited the worst affected Senapati. We all were there. We are working to provide Rs 1 lakh to rebuild the houses of the quake affected victims. We are trying to cover every aspect.”
The earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit Manipur and neighbouring northeastern states on January 4 morning. Nine people were killed and over 110 left injured. Many families were rendered homeless as their houses crumbled to ground.
The quake-hit viewed the response from the government as short of public expectation. “Though the earthquake hit the state on January 4 morning, it was only on January 9 evening that Governor V. Shammuganathan visited the damaged women’s market which is less than 50 metres away from his residence,” said S. Apabi, a vendor.
Meanwhile, hundreds of women vendors have started selling consumer items, handloom clothes and other items on the footpath. “We are daily wage earners. When we return home with a morsel of rice, our children are waiting for us and we have barely enough to eat,” said Sakhitombi, a greengrocer.
“As we have to earn money for supporting the family, we are sitting here. As and when we are allowed, we will shift to the temporary market earmarked by the government,” said Bina, who sells handloom clothes by the roadside. “It is anybody’s guess how long the government will take to repair the damaged portions of the markets,” she added.
“We have tried to cover each and every aspect. However, there is a possibility that some people may have felt that more needs to be done. We will certainly pay attention towards that and would try to figure out about measures to help the victims in every way” added Nabakishore
Sources confirmed that the central government has received a report as sought by central ministers Kiren Rijiju and Jitendra Singh during their visit to Imphal shortly after the earthquake. The ministers informed the media that after looking at the report they would plan the relief measures for the state.