Upset at delays in processing relief aid to those affected by floods in Delhi, Revenue minister Atishi criticised the Chief Secretary, Naresh Kumar, for the delay in disbursing flood relief funds.
Atishi urged the Chief Secretary to ensure that all officers work on Saturday and Sunday to process the ex gratia sum promised to the flood-affected families so that the money can be transferred to their bank accounts by Monday.
During a revenue department meeting on the disbursal of relief funds, Atishi expressed shock at the fact that only 197 out of 4,716 affected families staying in relief camps had received Rs 10,000 as part of the ex gratia relief sanctioned by the Delhi government. The decision to provide this relief amount was made ten days prior, but bureaucratic inefficiency has resulted in a slow process.
Atishi pointed out that despite deploying 19 IAS and 18 DANICS officers, along with 6 District Magistrates (DMs), 6 Additional District Magistrates (ADMs), and 18 Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) to handle the flood relief and rehabilitation work, the relief funds have not been adequately processed. Each officer was responsible for processing relief for 70 families, which should have been manageable, but they have not been able to handle even seven families per day.
Atishi found this lack of urgency and efficiency shocking, especially during a time of emergency and disaster. She raised concerns about the officers’ ability to manage their regular duties if they exhibited such laxity during critical situations.
In response to the situation, Atishi instructed the officials to submit a status report on the money disbursed so far to her and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by 6 pm on Monday.
This incident adds to the ongoing tussle between the AAP government and the bureaucrats. Previously, there were confrontations over the postponement of the National Capital Civil Services Authority meeting and the deployment of the army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to control a breach in a drain regulator, causing flooding in the ITO area. (With inputs from PTI)