Irregularities in relief works

Lokayukta officials survey of flood-hit districts exposes inefficiency

These are some of the findings of the Karnataka Lokayukta on the  flood relief and rehabilitation works taken up by the State government in the flood-affected places.
As many as seven teams of Lokayukta officials surveyed six affected districts between October 26 and 31 and submitted a report to Chief Secretary S V Ranghanath last week.

The teams found Village Accountants in Bellary and Gadag demanding bribe from the beneficiaries for disbursing compensation cheques. In Raichur, the cheques were given to those who were not affected by the floods.

In Bagalkot, the report stated, banks have refused to honour cheques issued towards compensation by the State government.

No proper survey was done on damages caused to the houses and appropriate compensation was not paid in many places in Gulbarga, Bagalkot and Gadag districts.
The report highlighted a case in Bellary wherein rules have been thrown to winds. In Siraguppa taluk, the drinking water supply contract was awarded to the Town Municipality chairman who has failed to discharge his duty properly, the report said.
Rehabilitation works in many cases have been taken up without technical sanction and quality control measures are ignored. The report also pointed out irregularities in preparing estimates and while executing works.

Sheds unfit for habitation

The temporary sheds erected for the displaced people, especially in Bagalkot, are unfit for human habitation, the officials said.

Moreover, the time fixed for completion of civil works is insufficient, and it may lead to substandard quality of works.

Besides, the report recommended certain measures for effective implementation of relief and rehabilitation works.  

“A lot more could have been done even at the preliminary stage of relief... One of the main reasons for the flood relief works to suffer is lack of commitment on the part of persons in charge of the works,” Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde said in the report.

At the same time, he has hailed the good work being done by many officers in lending their helping hand to the affected people.

Asked why Lokayukta took up the study, he said: “It is the Lokayukta’s way of contributing to uplifting the affected people by monitoring the relief and rehabilitation works.”

He further said the Chief Secretary has said that he would be briefed about the action taken based on the report.

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