Kerala

Corpn. to hold survey of SC families

In yet another step to ensure that the funds meant for Scheduled Caste beneficiaries are reaching those deserving of it, the city Corporation is planning to conduct a wide-ranging ground-level survey in each of the 502 SC residential colonies within the city limits.

The survey is meant to identify the socio-economic status of the families, and to address the gaps in the delivery of welfare schemes and developmental projects.

According to a Corporation official, the capital city has a total of 502 residential colonies, with at least five SC families. The city has a total SC population of around 96,000. In each of the areas, the survey will be looking at the socio-economic profile of all the members, the infrastructural facilities, the condition of the houses, availability of sanitation, water supply, and power connections.

“One of the issues that has been identified with various projects for the SC community is that the funds always do not reach the grassroot level. Not many are aware of the schemes and the benefits are given mostly to those who approach the Corporation, rather than identifying the persons who are in need and providing aid. So, if we have a comprehensive survey in which all the issues are captured, projects can be formulated to address these and funds can be utilised,” said the official.

From the SC Development department, we get funds of more than ₹14 crore annually, while the Corporation’s annual plan has around ₹37 crore in SC/ST-related projects. The utilisation of these funds have not been fully effective, and there have been instances of funds getting lapsed. The Corporation authorities have held discussions with the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society Limited regarding the survey, which can begin after the Corporation council’s clearance.

The issues regarding the utilisation of SC funds came to the fore recently with the embezzlement of funds meant for various beneficiaries under a sub-office of the Department of Scheduled Caste Development functioning out of the city Corporation office getting exposed. Two SC promoters, who are facing allegations of fund embezzlement, were suspended following this. This has also led to the worsening of the acute staff shortage in the Corporation's SC development wing.

Even though the sanctioned posts are already lesser than the required numbers, there are not enough staff to fill these too. Out of the five sanctioned SC promoter posts, there are only two promoters here now. There is only one SC development officer in place of the sanctioned number of two. The number of clerks is also very low at two. This has meant that there is no active work done on the ground to identify beneficiaries. The civic body had also recently decided to take control of the beneficiary selection process with scrutiny through ward sabhas, similar to the other welfare projects. Till now, the entire process was done by the SC promoters and the SC development officers.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 9:36:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/corpn-to-hold-survey-of-sc-families/article36600021.ece

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