Uttarakhand CM orders probe into flood relief scam

Uttarakhand CM orders probe into flood relief scam
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today ordered an inquiry into alleged inflated and forged bills submitted by state government officials during the relief works of 2013 floods.

The scam surfaced during the hearing carried out by State Information Commissioner Anil Sharma where a RTI petitioner submitted documents showing massive irregularities. The documents indicated that officials relished choicest of cuisine even as people were suffering.
Taking cognisance of the allegations, the Chief Minister today asked Chief Secretary to look into the matter and take action against the erring officials, sources in the Chief Minister's office said.

PTI had first reported the story highlighting alleged financial swindling by officials engaged in the relief work. Through the RTI replies, several glaring examples of forged and inflated bills had come to the light which showed officials billed the exchequer Rs 194 for half a litre milk, enjoyed stay in hotels which were over Rs 7000 per day, relished mutton, chicken, cottage cheese and gulab jamuns.

The officials allegedly distributed relief funds twice to same persons, purchased 1,800 rain coats from same shop for three consecutive days, submitted fuel bills indicating that diesel was purchased for scooter and motorcycles which were camouflaged as four wheelers.

In a 12-page order, passed after hearing complainant Bhupendra Kumar of National Action Forum for Social Justice, Sharma has taken note of bills provided by various districts in response to RTI queries seeking to know details of funds spent on relief work in the aftermath of the tragedy that claimed 3,000 lives, with many still missing.

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