Irregularities galore in flood relief distribution

Distribution of cash relief to the flood affected households, which ended on Thursday, was riddled with several gaps as could be visible from the protests and complaints from across the city.

With the GHMC elections just a whistle away, the failed distribution could hang like an albatross around the ruling party’s neck, it is feared.

With notification for the polls due any time after November 15, distribution of ₹10,000 per family as cash relief was seen as an expedient measure to ameliorate the disgruntlement of the flood affected people. Until it had backfired, that is.

With no proper survey carried out about the actual number and identification of sufferers, and the payment mode being cash rather than direct benefit transfer to the bank accounts, as many irregularities as possible are reported to have crept in.

Thousands of city residents, flood affected as well as unaffected, who have not received any relief are left seething with anger.

At a few locations such as Nagole, residents held the distribution officials hostage, demanding relief amounts. GHMC officials had to seek help from the police to get their colleagues released.

At several locations, people’s ire was directed towards the corporators, who, they alleged, were getting the relief distributed to their own supporters and followers. At Nandanavaram Colony near Karmanghat, the flood affected had blocked the road and gheraoed the corporator.

At Champapet too, the flood affected persons conducted a sit in on the road, raising questions about them not receiving any relief.

In Gudimalkapur division, locals protested distribution of relief only to about 50 people, whereas there were 300 families affected by floods.

Residents of B.S.Maktha, Subhani Masjid and Hari Gate expressed anger that the local leaders were ensuring relief only to their kin.

“The officials, accompanied by the local leaders, had taken my details, and asked for my mobile phone number. After they entered the details, an OTP came to my mobile, and they made me share that too. Later, without giving any cash, they left,” said Nikhat Fatima, a resident of Shankar Nagar.

Distribution had also been done at several locations which had not suffered any loss due to floods. At such locations too, the relief distribution was limited to select few, which left many others disgruntled.

Officials under the condition of anonymity, admit that the whole scheme for distribution of relief has been a botched up operation.

“We have come to know about several instances where the genuine victims had not got any relief, but those who have not lost anything in the floods were given ₹10,000. Whoever had Aadhaar card, claimed the amount, and several beneficiaries were also brought in from outside the city,” an official shared.

Instructions from higher ups too were conflicting, from one extreme to the other, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 3:22:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/irregularities-galore-in-flood-relief-distribution/article32984922.ece

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