The Telangana Congress alleged that the committee was not given an accurate picture of the extent of damage due to floods in the state.

A truck submerged under water in Hyderabad on the October 13 night non stop rainsImage For Representation
news Flood Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 16:21

The Telangana Congress has criticised the way that the Union government appointed Central Committee carried out their survey to assess the extent of flood damage in Telangana. The Congress claimed that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government had not carried out any actual on-ground survey and alleged that the claims of damage made to the Union government were based on mere estimates. The party alleges that no effort is being made to figure out the actual extent of losses due to floods.

A Union government appointed inter-ministerial committee had made a two-day visit to Hyderabad to gauge the extent of flood damage, a week after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao sought Rs 1,350 crore as flood relief. The state had claimed losses to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore, which the Congress claims is much lower than the actual figures. The team that arrived on October 23 met with Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar who briefed them about the extent of damage over a PowerPoint presentation. A photo exhibition was also arranged for the team. On day two, the team visited LB Nagar and Khairathabad in Hyderabad and spoke to those affected by the floods.

The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) called the Central Committee’s visit an “eyewash” and stated that the extent of the damage to the state cannot be gauged in a mere two-day visit.

Speaking to TNM, AICC spokesperson Dr Dasoju Sravan said that no one could have stopped the rains, but the flooding could have been easily avoided if the state government had focused on cleaning drains and widening them the past seven years. “Their work on nalas (drains) is subpar. They have spent a lot of money but how much of the work has been completed? They haven’t been able to widen nalas nor clear encroachers, nor update the drainage system in the last seven years. The drains are not even cleaned,” he said.

The Congress alleged that the TRS government was not proactive ahead of the rains despite early warnings from the IMD about the heavy rains, “Floods and storms are not new to this state. In coastal Andhra Pradesh, before it rains, the district administrations alert the fishermen and rehabilitate people from low-lying areas. Nothing of that sort has happened in Hyderabad. The IMD had predicted heavy rains, but they failed to react on the ground,” said Sravan.

The Congress leader said that a mere two-day visit to a colony in the city is not sufficient to grasp the damage caused by the rains. He pointed to how the central committee took the state government’s word and had not consulted non-profits or farmers.

“They have not met the farmers who suffered crop losses, nor have they met with non-profits who are doing the actual rehabilitation work on the ground. The central committee has gone by government reports, which are perceptions, not reality. These are reports merely created by bureaucrats loyal to the government. On the ground, they haven’t started a survey to assess the damage. They have failed to even provide rehabilitation to the flood-affected,” he said.

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