Homeless people in Kedarnath valley to boycott 2014 polls

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Kedarnath valley to boycott 2014 polls
Dehradun, Sept 30: Kedarnath valley residents, who lost their houses in the June calamity in Uttarakhand, have threatened to boycott the 2014 general elections if the state government does not devise a proper rehabilitation policy and relocate them.

Peeved with the state government for not coming up with a concrete rehabilitation policy even after three months of the tragedy, residents have threatened to boycott the 2014 polls if they are not relocated soon in the plain areas or granted a special economic package to rebuild their lives, Ajendra Ajay, President of Kedarghati Visthapan Va Punarvas Sangharsh Samiti, said.

"Construction of 100 prefabricated houses for homeless in the area is just an eyewash. It is state government's ploy to get away from its responsibility of rehabilitating. Victims are looking for a firm rehabilitation policy to resurrect their lives and not for such piecemeal efforts," Ajay said.

He said his organisation will launch a signature campaign from tomorrow in support of its demand for proper rehabilitation policy for the victims. "It is an irony that crores have been spent over resumption of prayers at Kedarnath but not a penny over providing shelter to the homeless," he said.

Ajay said homeless families are staying in makeshift tents in villages like Saemi, with approaching winters adding to their woes. 187 roads have still not been repaired and residents of the segregated villages are traversing long distances in difficult terrain to procure rations from Guptkashi and Ukhimath, he said.

"Winter is about to set in and we don't know how we will deal with the biting cold as we have no roof overhead...even compensation amount has not yet reached us," Yogumber Singh Negi, a victim, said. "We want the victims to be relocated and rehabilitated properly but the state government does not seem to be serious about the issue," Rudraprayag Jila Panchayat member Vimla Rawat said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said the state government understood the pain of those who lost their homes in the tragedy. He raised the monthly rentals per family from Rs 2000 to Rs 3000.

However, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt asked the government, what will the grieving families who lost their homes, schools and livestock do with this paltry sum.

On June 16-17 deluge left a trail of death and devastation in Uttarakhand with hundreds killed, over 4000 missing and 2,500 families rendered homeless all over the state.


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