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CAG Blows Away Government Claim on Phailin Relief Measures

There were cases of inequitable and short distribution of relief material, states the report

Published: 13th February 2015 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2015 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR:The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the State Government for mismanagement in relief and restoration works after cyclone Phailin.

“There was delay of six to nine months in providing relief to affected people and dal being basic food, was not distributed in relief operation,” said the CAG report on General and Social Sector for the year ended March 2013 which was tabled in Assembly on Thursday.

Cyclone Phailin and the consequent floods affected crops of over 5.56 lakh hectares. However, the list of affected farmers was not prepared until April 2014.

“Even after lapse of six months of Phailin and subsequent floods, no assistance could be provided to farmers for loss of crops in over 5.56 lakh hectare farm land,” the audit said.

Though early warning mechanism and communication systems for disaster preparedness were in place, it was not effective due to inadequate staff and non-functioning of machinery, the CAG report stated.

Relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction measures had gaps as payment of Rs 49.59 lakh was made for rice without actual distribution, relief materials valuing Rs 10.26 crore were issued without acquaintance roll and beneficiary lists and rice got damaged due to improper storage, it stated.

During cyclone Phailin in October, 2013, though the State Government could save human life through early warning system and evacuation of people to safer place, more could have been done to save livestock which is main livelihood of the affected population, the report stated.

Further, post-disaster relief and restoration measures were not comprehensive, the CAG said, adding there were cases of inequitable and short distribution of relief material.   

Restoration was not adequate due to delay in restoration of power infrastructure, piped water supply system, roads, irrigation canals and lift irrigation project affecting rabi crops in affected districts. Besides, input subsidy for loss of crop was not paid and artisans were not adequately compensated for loss of livelihood, it stated.

There was improper financial management as Rs 29.46 crore was sanctioned from CRF/SDRF towards disaster preparedness in violation of Union Government norms, the report said.   

Utilisation certificates for Rs 1456.42 crore were pending from executing agencies and Collectors against the release of fund of Rs 3455.80 crore during 2007-13, the it stated.   

Despite retaining the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in interest bearing public accounts, interest thereon was not paid by the Government, the report said. 

The State Government failed to incorporate disaster management into development planning process due to non-preparation of State Disaster Management Plan (SDMP) till July, 2013 as envisaged in the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

While SDMP was prepared in August 2013, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) constituted in October, 2010 after a delay of five years of enactment of Disaster Management Act, 2005 under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, did not meet till July 2013, the report stated.



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