CAG points out ‘irregularities’ in flood relief disbursement in J&K
Srinagar, Jul 17: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has found “fraudulent irregularities” worth crores of rupees in relief disbursement to the 2014 flood victims.In its recently released report, the CAG says that floods caused death to 304 persons, damaged 2,40,004 houses, and caused loss of 26,461 live stock.The state government authorized the JK Industries Limited (JKIC) for procurement of tents for providing temporary shelters to families whose houses were fully damaged.“The JKCL procured 20,345 tents at a cost of Rs 13.26 crore. Audit observed that 4467 tents valuing Rs 2.84 crore were lying unutilised and 536 tents valuing Rs 34.04 lakh had gone missing during transit from Srinagar to Anantnag and Budgam,” the report reads.Hence, nearly 25 per cent of the tents procured at Rs 3.18 crore “could not be used” for intended purposes, it reads.As per the guidelines, SDRF had to pay Rs 1,300 per family for loss of clothing, and Rs 1,400 for loss of utensils/household goods to families whose houses were either washed away or inundated for more than a week or fully damaged.However, the audit as per the report noticed that relief amounting to Rs 12.60 crore was “not provided” to 46,680 eligible ones.“On the other hand, gratuitous relief of Rs 1.42 crore was provided to ineligible families of Rs 0.91 crore and to families not affected by flood Rs 0.51 crore,” it says.The CAG report states that government provided Rs 2.14 crore under the SDRF to the SMC for collection of garbage and its disposal at the land fill site located at Acchan and for disposal of carcasses after the floods of September 2014.The Corporation incurred an expenditure of Rs 1.37 crore on collection of Rs 73,435 metric tonnes of garbage and its disposal at landfill site during September 17 to November 15, 2014.However, the CAG report said that records showed that number of tipper trucks and JCBs shown utilized by the SMC for garbage clearance was at variance with the number verified by the ward officers. “Payment for 441 days, 19 nights in respect of tipper trucks and 102 days and 22 nights in respect of JCBs was made in excess of payments verified by ward officers. The amount involved was Rs 31.26 lakh,” it reads.The report states that Rs 1.30 crore was provided to four PWD divisions of Srinagar from the SDRF for restoration of washed out damaged roads was also shown spent on lifting of garbage, clearance of drain in Srinagar.“The details of vehicles utilised by the divisions for disposal of garbage/mulba including the details of agencies from whom they were hired, were not on record,” it said.A total of 1.82 lakh quintals of ration valued at Rs 25.53 had been released to CAPD for distribution to the non-ration card holding families affected by the floods. “However, the CAPD had not conducted any assessment for identification of such non-card holding flood affected families,” it says.The report says that in Srinagar and Budgam districts, payment of assistance was made in respect of damage to residential units not sanctioned by the district administration.Tehsildars of Srinagar and Budgam, as per the report, provided assistance for 1,1,07 and 490 damaged residential huts, respectively, against a sanction of only 423 and 140 huts.“A total of Rs 2.51 crore of funds from the SDRF was used for ineligible items while relief material valued Rs 1.99 crore was not distributed to the flood affected persons but utilized by the JK Milk Producer Co-operative limited for normal business,” it reads.Audit observed that Rs 31.44 crore was released to seven departments that were not eligible for assistance under SDRF, it says.The district administration had hired 504 boats for evacuation of affected people from the flood affected areas at a cost of Rs 1.77 crore during September 3 to October 10.However, the CAG Audit has noticed that Rs 1.77 crore was paid in October 2015 to the President of All JK Shikara Owners Association.
“Security of the bank statements of payments made to the boatmen by DC Srinagar revealed less payments of Rs 30.16,” it added.
Originally published at www.kashmirmonitor.in on July 18, 2017.