The tussle between the AAP government in Delhi and its bureaucrats resurfaced on Saturday with Revenue Minister Atishi "pulling up" chief secretary Naresh Kumar over the disbursal of flood relief amount, according to a Delhi government statement.
The minister directed the Chief Secretary to ensure all officers are deployed on Saturday and Sunday to process the ex gratia sum promised to the flood-affected people so that the money can be transferred to their bank accounts on Monday. Atishi in a note to Kumar said she was "shocked" when she, during a revenue department meeting convened over the disbursal of relief amount, found that only 197 out of 4,716 affected families staying in relief camps had received Rs 10,000 of the ex gratia relief sanctioned by the Delhi government.
"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. Such "laxity" is "absolutely shocking", she said and wondered what would these officers' normal workday be like when they were showing "laxity" in times of emergency and disaster.
The minister also directed the official to submit 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 had had a confrontation over the postponement of the National Capital Civil Services Authority meeting.
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.