Torrential rains are already pounding Kerala, even as the weather department predicted an early arrival of the southwest monsoon. Of late, rains have been causing widespread damage to property and crops. Adding to the woes, wild animals, too, have been wreaking havoc in hilly regions abutting the forests.
Compensation for house damage
Old houses getting damaged or destroyed, or uprooted trees causing partial or complete damage to others have become common during the rains. The government offers compensation to the owners of houses affected by rain-fury.
• Inform the local village office concerned. The officials will visit the house and assign the local body secretary to assess the damage.
• The assistant engineer of the panchayat will visit the scene and assess the damage, before submitting a report to the village officer. This procedure should be completed without delay.
• The village officer will upload the assistant engineer's report onto the government website, along with the photographs of the damaged house, applicant (house owner)'s Aadhaar card, and bank account details.
• Officials at the disaster management wing at the district collectorate examine the uploaded report and allow the compensation as per the rules to eligible applicants.
What may delay timely help
The compensation for houses partially or completely damaged was provided by the taluk offices concerned till last year. The disaster management wing at district collectorates have been assigned the task of providing the compensation from last year.
Officials said the compensation is normally credited to the applicant's bank account within a week. However, technical issues or shortage of funds could delay the compensation.
Officials at the collectorate cannot rectify errors in applications submitted online, which holds up the compensation. District collectors have asked the government to address the issue.
The compensation cannot be credited if the applicant's bank account shows zero balance. This issue can be avoided if the applicant ensures his bank account has enough balance while submitting the application itself. Furnishing wrong IFS Code, too, could hamper the compensation process.
IFS codes of some banks have been changed after they were merged with others.
Assessment and compensation
Owners of houses that have suffered up to 15 per cent damage are not eligible for compensation. Damages will be assessed above 15 per cent onwards, by dividing the area as hilly region and valley.
The compensation amount is released from the State Disaster Response Fund and the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.
Those who have lost their house completely will get a maximum compensation of up to Rs 4 lakh. Damages up to 30 per cent will get Rs 10,000.
The amount for constructing a new house will be provided in three installments. However, no compensation will be awarded for damages to water wells on residential premises.