Flood-relief is one of the key election issues for the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election, in which 150 corporators will be elected. Assuring help for the flood victims, the Congress party in its manifesto announced that it will provide Rs 50,000 to each family affected due to the recent floods in Hyderabad. This is twice the amount announced by the BJP, and four-times higher than the cash distributed by the TRS government.
The Congress party also announced giving a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for those whose houses were fully demolished, and Rs 2.5 lakh to those whose houses were partially demolished, apart from the aforementioned Rs 50,000. Further, an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakhs to every residentâ€™s family who died in the flood has been declared in the manifesto. The floods in October claimed nearly 20 lives in Hyderabad and destroyed several houses. Towards the flood-relief, the TRS government had released Rs 550 crore financial aid, in which each family affected in the flood was given Rs 10,000; apart from this amount, Rs 1 lakh was released for those with fully damaged houses and Rs 50,000 for partially damaged houses.
Though the BJP is yet to release its manifesto, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay had announced that, if the party comes to power in the corporation, they would distribute Rs 25,000 to each family affected during the floods.
The Congress in its manifesto said that the TRS government did not implement the Master Plan 2020 prepared by Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) planned under its term. â€śThere were 169 water bodies identified with a spread of over 10 acres each. After the TRS came to power in 2014, most of them have been subjected to encroachment and layouts, under the patronage of the ruling leaders and the same are being contemplated to be regularised under the LRS,â€ť the manifesto said.
Alleging that the TRS failed in preventing the floods, the Congress manifesto said, â€śThe recent devastating floods are an indication of the total failure of taking measures for prevention, mitigation and preparedness. They failed to check encroachment of water bodies and remove existing encroachments. Even routine de-silting of nalas was not done resulting in reducing the capacity of the stormwater drainage system. There have been no lessons learnt from past events. Hyderabad does not even have a Disaster Management Plan - not to talk about constantly updating it, based on experiences and scientific developments.â€ť
Though several residents of the city had already availed the relief money, many residents are yet to receive the aid. The flood-relief cash distribution was also marred with several allegations of a scandal and a â€śpolitical ployâ€ť by the TRS to win the GHMC election. As the Model Code of Conduct is now in place, the State Election Commission (SEC) has stopped providing the relief money to the residents. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao blamed the BJP for this move. He had alleged that the BJP wrote a letter to the SEC, asking them to stop the relief programme. Challenging KCR to prove his claims, Bandi Sanjay had asked the CM to take an oath in front of the Bhagyalakshmi deity in Charminar.