Aurangabad, Sep 30 (PTI) Twenty seven years after a massive earthquake ravaged Latur district in Maharashtra, a representative of those affected by the tragedy claims many victims are yet to get employment to sustain their livelihood.
The district administration, however, said there is a provision of reservation in employment for earthquake-hit families and they get jobs on merit.
Over the last 27 years, 'only around 3,500 earthquake-hit people have got jobs till now, but the number is very less as compared to the number of affected families,' Bhukampgrast Kruti Samiti president Amar Birajdar told PTI.
An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude jolted Latur-Osmanabad region on September 30, 1993, killing nearly 10,000 people and injuring thousands of others. Around 52 villages in the region were destroyed in the disaster.
There are many issues which still remain unresolved even after such a long time, claimed Birajdar, a resident of the earthquake-hit Mangrul village in Latur.
Lands of many people from the area were taken for rehabilitation of the affected families and many of them complained they got very less compensation for their lands, the activist said.
'A massive movement to reach out to government offices helped us in getting this small number of 3,500 jobs,' he claimed, adding that the earthquake-affected families suffered a lot even after their rehabilitation.
'We were promised three per cent reservation in government jobs. We approached every government office over the issue between 2005 and 2013,' he said.
He also said they can't blame the government alone as politicians should also have raised these issues before the state legislature.
When contacted, Collector G Shreekant told PTI that reservation in jobs for quake-hit families is still there and people get jobs on merit through this provision.
Raising other issues of the victims, Birajdar claimed the affected families were allotted new houses after two to three years of the incident, but they got the ownership only in 2018-19.
Around 100 people have started their own businesses by mortgaging the houses they got, he said.
He also noted that in 2018, the then state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said all the pending issues related to additional land allotment to the people affected by the quake will be resolved soon.
He said Fadnavis had acknowledged that there were some families who were given some pieces of land, but the families expanded and needed more space.
'But nothing happened in two years. We are still hopeful of getting the plots,' the activist said.
The collector said some earthquake-affected people put forth their demand directly to him for additional compensation for their land, but he does not have the authority to sanction it directly.
He further said the administration has sent a proposal to construct internal roads in the areas where the earthquake- affected people are residing in the district.
'The proposal cost is more than Rs 100 crore and work will move ahead after the government sanctions it,' he said.
'Latur has learnt a lot from the earthquake. The buildings are now earthquake-proof and people know what to do if such a calamity occurs again,' the collector said. PTI AW GK GK