The messenger logo

Compensation issues linger in Kakheti

By Keti Arjevanidze
Tuesday, January 29
The damage caused by a natural disaster in July, 2012 in Kakheti, will be calculated again, Valeri Alibegashvili, governor of Kakheti’s Lagodekhi region, told the people demanding compensation.

Alibegashvili also stated that Regional Development and Infrastructure Ministry representatives will visit the regions and reassess the situation. Victims of the damage in Kakheti inflicted by heavy rains, hailstorm and flooding, held a protest rally in the Lagodekhi and Kvareli regions on January 28 demanding to revise the list of victims and receive the promised compensation.

Protesters declared that the compensation was delivered unequally, partially blaming the loss counting commission. People who had left behind the compensation list also participated in the protest rally.

Malkhaz Khizanishvili, the governor of the Kvareli municipality also met the protesters.

The Kakheti region faced a natural disaster twice– in May and July in 2012.

Lagodekhi’s governor informed protesters that while counting the damage, only the damage inflicted by hail in July was considered.

Regional Development and Infrastructure deputy minister, Tengiz Shergelashvili also commented on the issue on January 25, saying that the damage inflicted in May will not be compensated.

“Similarly, there is damage to other regions of Georgia; bad climate conditions were also in other regions besides Kakheti, so we are concentrated on July’s damage,” stated Shergelashvili.

According to the deputy minister, the residents of the region had agro credits in order to solve their problems caused by the natural disaster in May and the negotiations between local self-governments and banks are underway. However, Shergelashvili admitted that the ministry cannot force the banks to compromise, “as it creates some other problems.”

Shergelashvili also believes that an insurance system should be created in order to avoid such problems in the future.

It should be noted that victims of the natural disaster in May are worried that the banks will sell their homes, as they are not able to cover the debts taken in May.

According to the Kakheti Information Center, resident of the Gurjaani region Levan Tabakhmelashvili owes agro credits of around GEL 6 000, to Finca Georgia, which he could not pay back because of the second natural disaster in the Kakheti region. Recently he was informed by Finca Georgia that if he does not pay the money in two weeks, the bank will sell his house.

Shergelashvili thinks that in this case the bank should solve the issue themselves to avoid rough interference in the private sector.

After winning the elections, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said that Cartu bank would provide people with compensations if the state funds would not be sufficient.

Ministry of Regional Development has published the list of 7,243 beneficiaries of the Kakheti region which can receive their compensations at Cartu Bank in Telavi or Tbilisi. According to the official information, the Cartu Group has issued over 100 million GEL for supporting the damaged families; the total number of people registered in the list has reached 29 000.