Nitish in a spot over flood aid irregularities

Nitish in a spot over flood aid irregularities

Nitish in a spot over flood aid irregularities

In the regime of Kumar, who has been voted India’s best chief minister by several organisations, flood relief materials were carried on scooters and motorcycles instead of trucks.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found that a scooter is shown to have carried 92.49 quintals of foodgrains meant for flood victims, while three other motorcycles together carried 274.15 quintals of foodgrains to the flood-hit areas.

The 2009 CAG report tabled in both the Houses of Bihar legislature has pointed out: “The claim that 3,115.6 quintals of foodgrains costing Rs 25 lakh were transported, appeared false and the money has been embezzled using fake truck numbers.”

This happened in Khagaria district during the 2007 flood, a year before the Kosi river wreaked havoc in several parts of Bihar. The CAG report found that out of the 32 trucks used for transportation of foodgrains, eight did not exist at all but were shown to have transported 891.58 quintals of foodgrains.

Of the other vehicles shown, three registration numbers were of motorcycles, one each of scooter and jeep, 15 of tractors and four of mini-trucks.

What is most surprising is that while the lone jeep carried 97.33 quintals of wheat, 15 tractors carried 1402.55 quintals of foodgrains, i.e., 93.5 quintals per tractor—even less than the foodgrain carried by the jeep and marginally more than the weight carried on scooter and motorcycles.

The CAG report says records of the Bihar State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Limited office in Khagaria for the period of August to October 2007 revealed that foodgrains were lifted from Mansi railway station and transported to godowns via truck.
“The grains were entered in the Inward Stock register and subsequently issued for flood relief operation. The audit attempted to verify vehicle registration numbers of trucks involved in transportation of foodgrains with the district transport officer,” the CAG report said.

Nitish, who missed no opportunity in blaming the Centre for inadequate financial assistance for flood relief work, is bound to draw a lot of flak after the new revelation.