The tussle between the AAP government and the city’s top bureaucracy resurfaced on Saturday with a Delhi government statement saying Revenue Minister Atishi “pulled up” Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar over the alleged delay in the disbursal of flood relief amount.
The minister directed Kumar to ensure all officers are deployed on Saturday and Sunday to process the ex gratia sum promised to the flood-affected people so the money can be transferred to their bank accounts by Monday.
“Revenue Minister Ms Atishi pulled up Chief Secretary over laxity in processing flood relief aid,” a Delhi government statement said.
Official sources said the Revenue minister was “verbally apprised” of the status of relief amount disbursal on Friday evening itself.
“The process of sanctioning has started and out of 4,000-plus families, verification of over 2,500 families has been done and about 1,500 families are yet to be verified,” a source said.
In a note to Kumar, Atishi said she was “shocked” to find during a revenue department meeting over the disbursal of the relief amount that only 197 out of the 4,716 affected families staying in relief camps had received the Rs 10,000 announced and sanctioned by the Delhi government as ex gratia.
“It has been 10 days since the Cabinet took the decision to give Rs 10,000 relief to families affected by floods. But in 10 days, 19 IAS and 18 DANICS officers – along with 6 DMs, 6 ADMs and 18 SDMS – have not been able to process this relief package for a mere 4,716 families,” the minister said.
The Chief Secretary had on July 15 deputed senior IAS and DANICS officers to monitor and assist the district authorities of six flood-affected areas in rescue, relief, and rehabilitation work.
“Given the number of officers deployed for flood relief and rehabilitation, each of these officers had to process the relief for 70 families. This means they had to provide relief to seven families per day. And that too has not been done,” the minister said in her note.
The official sources said the main pendency of the relief claims was in case of East Delhi district where the number of flood-affected persons was the highest and the verification took a little longer.
“Verification would be completed by Sunday and the sanction of relief amount and its bank credit for a larger chunk of affected persons would be done by Tuesday,” one of them said.
Such “laxity” is “absolutely shocking”, Atishi said and wondered what would these officers on normal workday be like when they were showing “laxity” in times of emergency and disaster.
The minister also directed the for submitting a status report to her and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the money disbursed so far by 6 pm Monday.
Earlier on Friday, the AAP dispensation and principal secretary (home) Ashwini Kumar officially recorded his reservations against postponement of the National Capital Civil Services Authority meeting by Chief Minister Kejriwal.
Before that, AAP ministers Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi had taken on the principal secretary (home) over the deployment of the army and NDRF to control a breach in a drain regulator that caused Yamuna flood water to inundate the ITO area.