Uttam Urges Guv: High Level Probe Must Be Ordered To Flood Relief Scam
Hyderabad, Nov.6 (Maxim News): Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Friday urged Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan to order a high level probe into the irregularities in distribution of flood relief in Greater Hyderabad.
Uttam Kumar Reddy spoke to the Governor over telephone and pointed out several instances of misappropriation of funds meant for distribution among people affected due to recent heavy rains and floods. He described the entire operation as ‘open loot in broad daylight’ by the ruling TRS party. He alleged that the flood relief was not carried out in a transparent manner and the flood relief amount was handed over to the TRS functionaries who misappropriated the same.
Reddy said that the affected people should be given relief of at least Rs. 50,000 each. He said that the government should pay Rs. 5 lakh compensation for the fully damaged houses and Rs. 2.50 lakh for partially damaged houses.
The TPCC chief pointed out that the State Government issued GO MS No 272 on October 19 sanctioning Rs. 550 crore towards distribution of flood relief among the affected people. “In a national calamity or crop loss, the official machinery enumerates the losses and prepares a list of affected people. Later, cheques are distributed to all the affected people. Even a payment of Rs. 100 is paid through cheque. However, of Rs. 550 crore sanctioned amount, the State Government withdrew Rs. 387 crore in cash and it was distributed through TRS cadre,” he said.
He said that disbursement of relief in cash in such big numbers was unprecedented in independent India and it also goes against the principles of demonitisation and all existing laws which discourage handling of cash. He said that the same TRS Government made payments of Rs. 1500 among poor families affected with Covid-19 through cheques. “There is no legality, no justification of drawl of huge cash and its distribution through TRS party cadre. We can give proof of TRS cadre taking commission from the affected people. At many places, they took up to Rs 5,000 commission to distribute Rs. 10,000 relief among the affected people,” he alleged.
Further, the leader said that the relief amount was distributed in cash wearing a pink khandwa (TRS party colour) as if it was a party programme. “I’ve served as MLA for five terms and I’m now a sitting MP. I’ve never seen such a brazenly shameful behaviour by the ruling party cadre,” he said.
He also pointed out that there were instances wherein residents living on the third floor were paid the relief amount while those living on ground and first floor were denied any payments. Further, he said people who came as visitors from Bengaluru were paid the relief amount while the local residents were deprived of any relief. He informed the Governor that the Congress party has prepared a list of nearly 15,000 people in Circle-12, about 10,000 people in West Zone and thousands of other people in other areas of GHMC who were yet to get any relief from the government. “It appears that the TRS party is trying to buy votes for the GHMC elections using public money,” he alleged.
Speaking on the issue former MP Konda Vishveshwar Reddy told the Governor that the distribution of relief in cash was totally illegal and some senior members of judiciary have pointed this out to the Congress party, as well as the TRS leadership. He said that the mistake has already been committed and it could not be undone in any way. He said that the State Government was not sharing the list of beneficiaries who were paid relief amount through cash. Further, there is no clarification on the distribution of relief amount sent by the Central Government. He said relief amount was being distributed only in GHMC areas in view of forthcoming civic polls while the affected families in Shamshabad and Manikonda were being denied any help.
Uttam described the distribution of Rs. 387 crore cash as open loot, bribery and corruption in brazen daylight. Calling Dr. Soundararajan as a fair person who’s always maintained the highest morals and values in public life, he urged the Governor to order an enquiry. He said that the State Government needs to be questioned on this issue as it must maintain minimum standards. Stating that neither Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao nor Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar were giving appointment to the Congress leaders, he said he was grateful to the Governor for listening to their plea over telephone.
The Governor has assured to look into the issue raised by Uttam Kumar Reddy. (Maxim News)