Saturday, December 27, 2008

Karachiites still await compensation for Dec 27 losses

The riots that broke out following PPP Chairwoman Benazir Bhutto’s assassination on December 27 last year wreaked havoc in Karachi. Besides the loss of lives, thousands of Karachiites suffered material losses worth millions of rupees, and they have yet to receive compensation.Panic spread across Karachi just minutes after news came in of Benazir’s assassination. Infuriated by the news, angry protestors took to the streets armed with weapons destroying anything that came in their way.
These miscreants damaged public and private properties worth millions of rupees. The violence lasted for three days during which perpetrators set fire to more than 1,200 vehicles, damaged 58 hospitals, 28 state run offices, over a hundred shops, two police stations, over three dozen industrial units, 25 petrol stations and a number of offices belonging to different political parties. On the directives of the then caretaker Sindh government the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) in collaboration with all 18-town administrations prepared a comprehensive report on the damage and submitted the same for compensation purposes.Early this year the provincial government announced disbursement of compensation to those affected by the violence and following the February 18 elections, the federal government formed the Commission Assessment of Losses and Payments of Compensation (CALPC) to assess the losses.
The commission announced it would restart the exercise of collecting district-wise data of losses. The affected were asked to submit relevant claims by filling out different forms including, i) Loss of human lifeii) Serious injuries iii) Damage to private vehicles/goodsiv) Damage to private shops/cabins/goodsv) Damage to private houses/goods vi) Damage to private petrol pumps vii) Damage caused to private industrial establishments, mills or factories. Besides the aforementioned type of damages, 39 people were also killed in the three-days of violence.
The heirs of those killed were compensated eight months after the incident took place. However, those who suffered material losses in the form of property damage have yet to be compensated. Karachi DCO Javed Hanif Khan told Daily Times on Friday that the city government had compiled and submitted its report to the commission formed by the federal government in this regard.

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