How was Rs 1000 cr flood relief spent, HC asks govt to explain

Srinagar: If government of India (GoI) says it has sanctioned Rs 1000 crore as interim relief for the flood victims of Kashmir, how was the money spent? And what happened to the information claimed to be sought by New Delhi regarding particulars of those persons whose properties were damaged enabling the Modi government to transfer relief money directly into their bank accounts?
These questions have been raised by the J&K High Court that has asked both New Delhi and state government to furnish the information during the course of this week.
The directions were passed by a Division Bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Dhiraj Singh Thakur following the submissions of petitioner-in-person advocate G A Lone in a PIL.
Lone claimed that nothing is known as to how and in which manner the amount of Rs 1000 cr has been spent. He also submitted that GoI has asked the state government to furnish the particulars of all those persons whose immovable properties have suffered complete or partial damages so as to enable it to deposit the compensation amount in the accounts of such persons.
“Counsel for the state (Additional Advocate General M A Chashoo) as also (Assistant Solicitor General S A) Makroo to inform the court about the submissions made at Bar and if it is a fact that such orders have been passed, then to state what is the present status in respect of the issues,” the court said and asked them to furnish the necessary information during the course of present week.
In another direction, the court granted three days more to Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu regions to file detailed information regarding mechanism in place for regulating the distribution of relief to the flood victims by the NGOs, individuals and companies in the state.
The court passed the direction after Chashoo submitted to have received the information from the Commissioners and said that he will be filling it within three days.
On last date of the hearing, the court had sought the information following the submission by Lone that many people or NGOs are providing relief to the flood victims but there is no mechanism for its regulation in place across the state.
The court also granted Director Information five days time for filing compliance report regarding public notice in two daily newspapers, both in Kashmir and Jammu divisions, in which all those persons rendered homeless by recent floods and accommodated in the tented accommodations, be asked to approach the Deputy Commissioners concerned by filing an application.
In the application, the homeless shall indicate that they are still living in the tents and have not been provided safe accommodation to avert the adverse affects of winter chill, the court had said.
At least 4.5 million people, over 65 percent of the total population in the Kashmir region, have been affected by the deluge and many have been left homeless.
Meanwhile, the court also allowed prayer by AAG Chashoo seeking permission to file during this week the reply to separate PIL filed by advocate Azhar-ul-Amin demanding constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the role of officers “guilty of criminal negligence” before and during recent devastating floods.