Uttam urges Governor to order high-level probe into flood relief scam

Mr. Uttam spoke to the Governor over the telephone and pointed out several instances of misappropriation of funds meant for distribution among flood-affected families.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  6 Nov 2020 3:37 PM GMT
Uttam urges Governor to order high-level probe into flood relief scam


Hyderabad: The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and MP, Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, on 6 November, urged Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan to order a high-level probe into the irregularities in distribution of flood relief in the Greater Hyderabad area.

Mr. Uttam spoke to the Governor over the telephone and pointed out several instances of misappropriation of funds meant for distribution among flood-affected families. He described the entire operation as "open loot in broad daylight" by the ruling TRS. He alleged that the flood relief was not carried out in a transparent manner and the relief amount was handed over to the TRS functionaries who misappropriated the same.

The TPCC chief said that the affected people should be given at least Rs. 50,000 each, adding that the government should pay Rs. 5 lakh compensation for fully damaged houses and Rs. 2.50 lakh for partially damaged houses.

He pointed out that the state government issued GO MS No. 272 on 19 October sanctioning Rs. 550 crores 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, for Rs. 550 crore sanctioned amount, the state government withdrew Rs. 387 crores in cash which was distributed by TRS cadres," he alleged.

The Congress leader said that disbursement of relief in cash in such big numbers was unprecedented and it also goes against the principles of demonetisation and all existing laws which discourage handling of cash. He said that the same TRS government made payments of Rs. 1,500 among poor families affected by COVID-19 through cheques. "There is no legality, no justification of withdrawal of huge cash and its distribution by TRS party cadres. We can give proof of TRS cadres taking a commission from flood-affected people. In many places, they took up to Rs. 5,000 commission to distribute Rs. 10,000," he alleged.

Further, he said the TRS cadres distributed the relief amount wearing pink khandwa (the 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 ruling party cadres," 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 the ground and first floor were denied payments. Further, he said people who came as visitors from Bengaluru were paid the relief amount while local residents were deprived of any relief. He informed the Governor that the Congress has prepared a list of nearly 15,000 people in Circle-12, about 10,000 people in the west zone and thousands of other people in other areas of the 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 illegal and some senior members of the judiciary have pointed this out to the Congress as well as the TRS leadership. He said that the state was not sharing the list of beneficiaries who were paid relief amount through cash and added that there was no clarification on the distribution of relief amount sent by the Central government. The relief amount was being distributed only in the GHMC areas in view of the forthcoming civic polls while the affected families in Shamshabad and Manikonda were being denied any help, he alleged.

Mr. Uttam, meanwhile, described the distribution of Rs. 387 crore cash as open loot, bribery, and corruption in brazen daylight. Calling Dr. Soundararajan a fair person who's always maintained the highest morals and values in public life, he urged the Governor to order an inquiry. 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. Chandrashekhar Rao nor chief secretary Somesh Kumar was giving an appointment to the Congress leaders, he said he was grateful to the Governor for listening to their plea over the telephone.

The Governor has assured to look into the issue.


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