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Government pays a tribute to Kakheti29.01.2013 | 17:12
28,500 families affected by the disaster last summer in eastern Georgia have already begun to receive the aid promised by Bidzina Ivanishvili. Prime Minister has allocated $ 100 million GEL for this. Cartu Bank has opened accounts for each victim. Compensation issue will last for 6 weeks.
Kakheti farmers will long remember July 19, 2012. On that day, tornado and intense hail destroyed vineyards and orchards leaving people with no means of support. Elements did not spare even the cattle. Many homes were left without roofs. Thousands of families in Telavi, Gurjaani Lagodekhi Kvareli and Sagarejo were affected.
When Ivanishvili, prior to his appointment as Prime Minister, attempted to help the affected farmers, Saakashvili's government imposed a fine on the amount allocated to Kakhetian farmers.
Now, when the coalition of Bidzina Ivanishvili is in the saddle, the question of compensations to the Kakhetians arose again.
The new government started from questioning the affected families and thorough examination and assessment of the extent of their losses. Then they launched distribution of compensation. These amounts range from 6,000 to 8,000 GEL, but there will be exceptions. There are families that will receive up to 50,000 lari, given the relatively large size of the losses. It should be noted that the amount of humanitarian aid allocated by the previous government will be deducted of this sum. But farmers do not really worry, because the assistance received from the government of Saakashvili amounted from 100 to 1500 GEL.
One of those who have obtained the maximum compensation - 1500 GEL - is a resident of Gurjaani Vaja Otarashvili. By the beginning of the fall he intended to collect 20-23-ton crop of grapes, which would have brought about 20,000 GEL. Hail completely destroyed his vineyard and left the family not only without the traditional wines, but without a livelihood. He had to borrow money and purchase grapes.
"Once the hail stopped, I ran into a vineyard hoping to find at least one surviving vine. But there was not a bunch. I have never in my life seen such a picture. Even the grass was destroyed. Wind and hail ripped wires. Now I won't see such a crop that I used to collect all the past years for a long time", complains Vaja Otarashvili.
Shortly after the disaster, the Government paid him 1500 GEL, and he thought he wouldn't get more. "The truth is, I was not expecting more than 1500 GEL. I do not think it was adequate compensation of damage, but I was grateful for that".
Temur Tevdoradze is also waiting for the aid from the government. He says his home is located in the landslide, so he is unable to do anything: "We got into the area of landslides. Honestly, I do not know how much money may help me. But I think, the house strengthening requires a hefty sum. They promised to help so I'm waiting for my turn".
The damage caused by the elements is huge. Lots of the victims, such as Timur Tevdoradze, need emergency care waiting for their turn.
Tsinandali producer Otar Berdzenishvili said that his damages have exceed 45-50 thousand GEL: "The former government estimated the damage in 1500 GEL, and since it was pre-election period, the sum was paid immediately".
Today, the victims can receive compensation only in the Cartu Bank. Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Tengiz Shergelashvili said during the first phase 3,000 families would get help. "By this time we have sent to gamgeobas the list of 3000 beneficiaries to indicate the accounts. During the second week we will send another list", said the Deputy Minister. Compensation issue will last for 6 weeks.
In an interview with GTimes the director of the Cartu Group Nico Chkhetiani said that 95 million GEL from the total aid would be spent to restore the estates, vineyards and compensation of cattle losses. "And five million lari will be spent to finally repair the roofs destroyed by the disaster", he added. Nico Chkhetiani said the process of getting aid was maximally simplified. "To avoid queues at the bank branches the issuing is being carried out as follows: in all the towns we inform the people about the day of receiving payment beforehand.
Local governments in advance distribute the lists in order to facilitate the public in this process. Citizen, noted in the compensation list, must personally go to the bank with IDs. If a person is unable to come at the appointed time, a person who has a notarized power of attorney may act on his behalf", the director of the Cartu Group explained.
Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure David Narmania states they "have never conducted such a detailed inventory for each family". "The inventory document must be signed by a number of people, including families who will participate in this process. Each family will receive 6000 - 8000 GEL. If someone owns a large plot, he would receive adequate compensation", stressed the Minister.
And in his department, we were told that if the affected area is greater than one hectare, the amount of compensation could reach 10 thousand GEL. But this is not all: there will be greater amounts, for example, in the case of Temur Tevdoradze.