AICC spokesperson Dasoju Sravan today lashed out at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao yet again over the distribution of compensation to the residents of the Greater Hyderabad area who had been devastated by the recent floods in the city
He accused the CM for not having kept a promise the latter had reportedly made at a public meeting in the days before the GHMC elections - that the TRS government would resume the distribution of flood relief, which had been suspended by the State Election Commission (SEC)
in the run-up to the elections, after the elections till every last affected individual in Hyderabad had received aid.
"The TRS government, led by the Chief Minister, has betrayed the innocent citizens of Hyderabad who were devastated by the incessant rains that lashed two-thirds of the city in October last year. Although KCR claimed that Rs 650 crore had been disbursed to about 6.5 lakh beneficiaries so far, and promised that steps would be taken to distribute aid to 1 lakh remaining beneficiaries, the government has not yet taken any action in this direction. Further, though nearly a month has elapsed since the TRS government announced that it would resume the distribution of aid to the flood victims, it has not made any efforts to keep its word. How long should the people wait before they receive the promised compensation? It is high time that the government come clean about the matter and resume the distribution process," the Congress leader said.
He also asked the government to announce a formal deadline by which it would complete the aid distribution drive in the city.
Commenting on the Telangana High Court's decision of sending out notices to the SEC and the TRS government
on the issue, Sravan demanded that the government, specifically Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and GHMC Commissioner Lokesh Kumar, take immediate cognisance of the notices, and take up the distribution works as soon as possible.
"The concerned officials should immediately put up the division-wise and ward-wise lists of beneficiaries who have already received the aid along with separate lists identifying those people who are yet to receive the same. These lists should be made available to the public on the internet as this will increase the government's accountability, and will ensure that the remaining distribution efforts are carried out in a transparent manner. After all, the CM Relief Fund is public money and not KCR's private wealth. Therefore, the spending of the money from the fund must be publicly audited," he said.
"The TRS illegally utilised the public money to further its own political motive, that of winning the GHMC elections. Since the elections are now over, the government and the Chief Minister have completely forgotten the flood-affected people of the city. I hope that with the intervention of the High Court, justice will be done to the beneficiaries, and that the culprits will be punished," he added.
The AICC spokesperson also thanked the High Court for issuing the notices, as the court had taken the decision to do so after he had submitted a letter on the matter.
"I humbly thank the High Court of Telangana for accepting my letter on the widespread irregularities that riddled the distribution of flood relief funds in Hyderabad, as a Public Interest Litigation, and for agreeing to conduct a hearing on the same. It is important that the TRS leaders responsible for the aid distribution face rigorous punishment as they committed white collar robberies on an outrageous scale on the pretext of carrying out the compensation drive," he said.
Sravan had penned a letter to the Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court on November 2, 2020, alleging that the TRS government had indulged in misappropriation of the funds meant for the purpose of flood relief. In his letter, he reportedly said, "Instead of distributing the promised relief amount of Rs 10,000 through cheques to identified beneficiaries, cash was being distributed arbitrarily among the city's residents. In many cases only Rs 2,000 or Rs 3,000 were given to the beneficiaries. Moreover, in a gross violation of all accepted practices, TRS leaders, instead of the officials of the GHMC or the Telangana government, were distributing this cash. This is all highly objectionable."
The TRS government has been facing much criticism for its alleged failure to carry out the distribution process in a satisfactorily transparent and efficient fashion from both the flood-affected people
, and the Opposition. The Congress had previously even demanded that the Centre launch an inquiry
into the state's compensation drive.