After Hyderabad witnessed hundreds of flood-affected families taking to the streets on Saturday demanding that the Telangana government release Rs 10,000 in aid that they had promised, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is set to resume distribution of the cash relief which was stopped on Friday after allegations of corruption and favouritism surfaced.
On Sunday, Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, Somesh Kumar, issued directions for preparation of a schedule for the cash relief distribution at the doorstep of those affected by the floods. The October rains in Hyderabad had led to several lakes overflowing, resulting in massive flooding of neighbourhoods in low lying areas in the city. Those affected by the floods suffered massive property and livelihood losses. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on October 19 announced that Rs 10,000 cash will be disbursed as immediate relief to the flood-affected.
However, allegations surfaced that corporators were siphoning off Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 from the money and that the aid was only given to those close to these local leaders. It was also alleged by opposition parties that the TRS was using the cash aid as a means to buy votes ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls, which are likely to take place next year.
On Friday, the state government issued orders to all GHMC Zonal Commissioners to halt the process as the allegations surfaced. On Saturday, protests broke out across several parts of the city, largely led by women. The protesters blocked roads and surrounded municipal offices demanding that the Rs 10,000 cash aid be resumed.
Following this, the instruction to resume the cash aid came from the Chief Minister based on whose instructions the Chief Secretary reviewed the cash disbursement work done so far. The state government has disbursed a total of Rs 387.9 lakh crore among 3.87 lakh flood-affected families. The state had earmarked a total of Rs 550 crore from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to be used for rescue, relief and rehabilitation of flood-affected citizens.
The Chief Secretary has directed Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar and GHMC Commissioner DS Lokesh Kumar to prepare a schedule for the release of funds.