Guv blasts tardy flood relief

Guv blasts tardy flood relief

Guv blasts tardy flood relief

H R Bhardwaj: Do your work properly instead of complaining against the Centre

The governor, after inaugurating the Krishi Mela in Bangalore, minced no words in finding  faults with the government’s relief measures.

In an oblique reference to ‘politicking’ over the last three weeks, he asked the ministers and legislators to “return to their constituencies”. Agriculture Minister S A Ravindranath was the chief guest on the occasion.

Three days ago, Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, in his report on flood relief programmes, had stated that the implementation  of measures was tardy.

Bhardwaj said the flood victims had been approaching him seeking assistance. “But not a single minister has briefed me on it. I came to know about the relief measures from other sources. I am deeply disappointed as nothing has been done to offer succour to the victims,” he said.

The governor said there was no shortage of funds for the relief programmes. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after his visit to the affected areas, had announced Rs 1,000 crore assistance. The money had also reached the government.

“I have signed an ordinance to authorise the government to utilise Rs 500 crore. But the people have not received any help,” he said.

Bhardwaj said he failed to understand what work the government had done for the last two months.

“There is no shortage of funds. Instead of complaining against the Centre, you (the state government) should explain as to what you have done. First you do your work properly. In case you need the Centre’s help, I myself will rush to Delhi to seek assistance,” he said.

The governor said he was not politicising the issue but only sharing the information he had received from the affected people. “Why should we look towards the Centre for everything. We are in a federal system.

“There is a government in the state, too. Let it discharge its responsibility”, he said.
“People are eagerly watching the work being done by their representatives. Attention should be paid to find a permanent solution to the problem,” he suggested.

There should be no blame game between the ruling and opposition parties. Both sides should work in unison. “I am pained that the flood victims have not received help. But as governor I cannot do this work. I can only recommend to the Centre to sanction more funds if required,” he pointed out.

Minister Ravindranath admitted that the relief plans had not been implemented effectively. But corrective measures would be taken, he added.

He said already foundation had been laid for housing schemes. The chief minister and other ministers had been touring the affected districts. Compensation had also been provided, he claimed.

When his reaction was sought on the governor’s critical remarks, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said all the suggestions made by the governor would be incorporated by the government.

“We will not get worked up by such statements,” he said but hastened to add that the governor had all the freedom to make suggestions and recommendations to the government.

He said he had met the governor during the swearing in ceremony of Jagadish Shettar into the Cabinet at Raj Bhavan a couple of days ago and appraised him of the flood relief and rehabilitation work.

The government if required will seek the help of the governor for the release of additional grants from the Centre, he added. “We will take the governor’s advice in the right spirit”.
Referring to the Lokayukta report, the CM said he would look into lapses, if any, in the execution of flood relief programmes.

Yeddyurappa said the government had spent over Rs 1,200 crore for relief works. “When such a huge amount is being spent, there may be minor lapses. I will discuss the issue with the Lokayukta”, he said. He said the government machinery would ensure that 95 per cent of the victims would get relief in the next one month. The Centre had assured the state Rs 1,000 crore towards the relief, but so far only Rs 500 crore had been released, he said.