Peace ministry perplexed by conflicting displaced numbers
KATHMANDU, April 3: As the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction gears up to provide relief to those displaced by the insurgency, it has found that the task is going to be problemetic as displaced numbers presented by four different taskforces are markedly different.
Following formation of the Relief and Rehabilitation Division under the ministry in 2007, four various taskforces were formed on different dates to collect the statistics on the displaced and damages caused to private property and infrastructure among other things.
Secretary at the ministry Dhruba Prasad Sharma has himself raised question the authenticity of the number of the displaced counted by the present eight-member taskforce headed by Dipendra Pun Magar.
“The first taskforce put the number of displaced at 25,000 while the second and third put the number at 50,000 and 75,000 respectively,” exclaimed Sharma, adding, “And, now this present taskforce states that the number of displaced is 1,02516.”
The successive taskforces comprising political cadres collected the data on the displaced people through local peace committees and all-party mechanisms. Each taskforce, according to sources, found additional number of displaced not because the previous taskforces had left them but even fake displaced people, mostly party cadres, were included in the list.
"As the data was collected through all-party mechanisms, there is a tendency of including party cadres in the list to so that they can claim allowances and benefits to be provided by the government," said a source at the ministry.
According to sources at the ministry, Sharma has also expressed his dissatisfaction over the demand of budget by the Relief and Rehabilitation Division for the displaced peoples. The division has demanded Rs 840 million for the displaced peoples across 73 districts.
“Not all of those 1,02516 could be genuine displaced people,” an official at the ministry quoted Sharma as saying in a meeting last week.
Sharma also expressed concern over the possible misuse of the money meant for the displaced.
“I served as chief district officer in various districts during the insurgency and I know very well what type of people come to claim the relief money meant for the displaced,” the official quoted Sharma telling the meeting.
Each displaced person will get Rs 60 per day for four months and an additional Rs 300 to Rs 1000 as travel expense depending upon the distance.
According to the report prepared by the present taskforce, 6,809 people were disabled, 2,985 were kidnapped and altogether property of altogether 16,367 people were damaged during the insurgency.
Also, according to the report, 348 children lost their parents, 1,500 people were made to disappear, 1737 wounded and 1,415 people were imprisoned or detained.
According to the recommendation made by the taskforce, each person who lost cash during the conflict will get Rs 10,000 while Rs 80,000 will be provided to each person who lost gold.
Similarly, the government will provide Rs 25,000 for damages caused to clothes and kitchen utensils.
The disabled peoples will get compensation as per the recommendation of a doctors´ team that will check the nature of disabilities.