PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to compensate the farmers, whose crops and orchards have been destroyed by natural disasters across the province.

The farmer’s losses have been for the first time covered under the relevant regulations as previously there was no legal provision to compensate them for their damaged crops and orchards in the province.

The amended Provincial Disaster Management Authority Relief Compensation Regulation, 2019 was notified on July 11 after approval of relevant authority. The regulation covers the compensation-related matters including types, rates, processes and timelines for losses due to natural calamities.

The regulation will be applicable from July 1, 2019. Crops and orchids have been included in the regulation under Section 4, involving types of claims and rates of compensation.

According to the regulation, compensation for the damaged crops including wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane, cotton, tobacco, vegetables, barley, pulses etc would be paid at the rate of Rs5,000 per acre or maximum Rs50,000 per family while compensation for damaged orchards would be paid at the rate of Rs400 or maximum of Rs 40,000 per family.

Panels headed by ACs to assess cases according to documents and records

Section 5 of the regulation provides for claims assessment committees for loss of lives, property (houses) and crops or orchards. A committee headed by the assistant commissioner of the tehsil and having a representative of agriculture department, tehsildar of the relevant revenue circle and “halqa patwari” as its members will assess the cases according to documents and records.

The district disaster management units (DDMUs) at district level will sanction authority for all claims of compensation, based on assessment by the committee, while deputy commissioner of district will pay authority after sanction from DDMU concerned and subject to fulfillment of codal formalities.

An official told Dawn that it was the first time that instructions regarding compensation were collated into one document, which also included clear roles of committees, timelines and documentation while all powers were vested at district level.

He said that under Civilian Victim Compensation Regulation, 2019 that regulated compensation to the victims of man-made disasters, the owners of the filling stations would also entitled to receive compensation for their losses. The provincial cabinet has approved compensation for destroyed filling stations in its meeting earlier on June 14.

Under the regulation, owners would receive Rs1 million as compensation for their destroyed filling station. He said that filling stations were also not covered previously under the regulation for compensation.

Officials told Dawn that provincial cabinet in its next meeting would also consider a proposal to cover deaths and injuries due to large carnivore attack under the compensation policy.

They said that both the present provincial compensation policies for natural and man-made disasters did not cover human casualties due to wild carnivore attacks.

They said that loss of habitat, housing and agricultural needs of humans brought both species into conflict with each other, which was leading to the attacks of wild animals in hilly areas.

Following the approval of the policy by the provincial cabinet, in case of death due to wild carnivore attack, the family would receive Rs300,000 as compensation while Rs100,000 would given for grievous injuries in such in incidents involving wild animals.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2019