How does paperwork take 4 years?

As if the agony of losing a loved one in the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008 in Mumbai was not enough, families are now suffering as they still await a chunk of the government compensation money.

This paper reported on its front page yesterday, that 88 families of those killed in the attack were still awaiting Rs 3 lakh promised as compensation by the Union Home Ministry.

It is shameful that kin of victims are waiting for four years for a sum of Rs 3 lakh each. Considering that the sum is little, four years and the subsequent annual inflation, has succeeded in shrinking this money to even less than it was.

The reasons given for the delay range from the ridiculous to the tiresomely familiar: some paperwork still needs to be completed. Where have we heard this before? Unfortunately quite often, whenever there has been compensation to be given by the government there have been inordinate delays, confusion over statements made and promises given and sometimes, backtracking.

This though is 26/11 and given that the government takes first responsibility of a terror attack on its soil and death of the people, the process of compensation should have been much quicker and smoother.

The compensation machinery should have swung into effective, precise action. Victims should have been identified, amounts promised disbursed if not immediately then as soon as possible so that at least families who had lost their breadwinners, could take small comfort in the sum given.

The distrust has only deepened with this kind of apathy, pathetic procrastination and red tape by the government towards its people.

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