Farmers allege relief fund misuse in Mizoram

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Aizawl, Sep 14 (UNI) A joint action committee formed by the farmers' associations here has accused the Mizoram government of misusing the Central Calamity relief funds, demanding the fund be distributed to the 'deserving people' by September 19.

The joint action committee, comprising the state's five largest farmers' association, said here today unless the government released the relief funds before the deadline, they would employ any means to get their shares.

The Union government under the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) had sanctioned Rs 4,960 lakh on June 2, 2008 meet out relief operations necessitated by flood, landslide and pest attacks in Mizoram in 2007.

Out of the total amount, the state government utilised Rs 3,982 lakh for the distribution of rice to the families free of cost, whose monthly income were less than Rs 10,000. This also included a large number of families who were not affected by the calamities, the associations' leaders said.

As a result, about 60 per cent of the ''real victims'' had been deprived of the relief fund, they added.

The Mizoram government had sought the assistance of all the farmers' groups in making assessment on last year's monsoon calamities. Representatives of farmers' associations were entrusted with collecting data of damages at their respective areas.

According to the assessment, 640 houses were destroyed by the landslides as well as floods and 1,014 houses were inundated by floods.

While 3,078 hectares of farmland belonging to 479 families were destroyed by landslides and floods, 1,280 fishery ponds were submerged by floods. Three people, including two kids, also died due to landslides.

UNI ZS SB AE VC1858

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