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Survey of damaged houses suspended in N. Waziristan

The authorities have failed to provide blank forms to the families repatriated to North Waziristan Agency for the collection of details of the damages caused by military operation to their houses.

The survey of damaged houses has been suspended due to the shortage of forms.

Officials of the political administration in Miramshah told Dawn that the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Unit in Peshawar had dispatched 6,400 forms and of them, 4,000 had been utilised.

Officials blame shortage of RRU forms meant to collect damage details for it

They said the RRU had been asked to send additional forms for distribution among the affected people.

The officials said the survey of damaged properties would resume in the area once forms were provided.

Local elder Engineer Fayaz Muhammad said the repatriated people had stopped reconstruction of their damaged houses due to the slow compensation payment.

He said a large number of returnees lived in the open.

“The government must ensure the availability of survey forms and expedite cash payment to genuine people to rebuild own houses,” he said.

The elder demanded that the RRU set up additional teams to complete the survey of damaged houses.

RRU project director Shakeel Iqbal said 1,000 additional forms were dispatched to the political administration in North Waziristan Agency on Tuesday.

He said 1,824 out of a total of 6,400 survey forms had so far been given to the RRU.

He said the RRU would release funds to the political administration to be distributed among the affected people after receiving filled forms.

“Funds will be released when forms are submitted to the RRU,” he said.

According to the daily situation report, the local administration paid compensation money to 1,519 families out of a total of 1,824 verified households in North Waziristan so far.

The government has tasked the RRU to oversee reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in militancy affected areas of Fata.

The unit is paying compensation to affected families through respective political administrations under the Citizens Losses Compensation Programme.

Under the compensation programme, Rs160,000 is paid for partially damaged and Rs400,000 for fully damaged house.

The cash is paid to affected family after verification by the survey teams comprising officials of the law enforcement agencies, political administration and RRU.

The survey and payment of cash compensation to verified families is going on at a very slow pace in other tribal agencies of Fata, too.

The survey of damaged properties in Central Kurram, Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley and upper sub division of Orakzai Agency has been suspended due to harsh weather.

The Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) said 90.4 per cent return of internally displaced persons to their native lands had been completed so far and that the remaining families would be repatriated very soon.

Earlier, the government had announced that return of IDPs would be completed by November 2016.

Official figures show 19,905 damaged houses including 13,525 fully damaged have been verified in North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Orakzai, Central Kurram and Khyber Agency. According to them, a total of 12,668 families have received compensation. The federal government has released Rs10 billion to Civil Secretariat Fata for the purpose so far.

Shakeel Iqbal said the survey in snowbound areas of Fata was not possible and that the repatriated families had returned to plain areas.

He said teams were likely to restart the survey of damaged properties in April.

The RRU project director said the survey and verification of damaged properties was not possible in the absence of owners.

Gul, Pazir. Survey of damaged houses suspended in N. Waziristan. Dawn, March 8, 2017.

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