Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Relief work hampered by delay in DD power to DC

Balwant Garg
Tribune News Service

Fazilka/Ferozepur, Oct 4
Call it is the procedural bottlenecks or the snail's pace at which the government files movethat even two months after a Deputy Commissioner (DC) was given the full charge of a newly carved district, he has no drawing and disbursement (DD) power to draw the funds from the government treasury and disburse the funds further.

And it looks more amazing when the district is facing problems like the unprecedented floods.

Fazilka, a sub-division of Ferozepur district, was declared as Punjab's 22nd and newest district on July 27. The same day, Basant Kumar Garg was appointed as the full-fledged Deputy Commissioner of this new district. Days after joining as the first DC of Fazilka, over 40 villages of this new district were ravaged by the floods.

There are many regular and emergency funds to combat these unexpected situations. But as the DC Fazilka has no powers to withdraw the money from government treasury and use these funds further for various relief works, so he is relying on his counterpart in Ferozepur to get the funds for his district (Fazilka).

Besides meeting many day to day expenses, the Fazilka DC needed many emergency funds in the last two months, like Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) in the flood affected areas. But in the absence of the DD powers, the DC Fazilka was getting the funds through the DC Ferozepur.

Even at a meeting of the DCs with the Punjab Chief Secretary on September 9, the DC Fazilka, it is learnt, lamented that he has no DD power, thus causing delay in giving relief funds to the flood affected families and the dependents of those who died of drowning.

As per the government norms, the dependents of every flood related death are to get the relief funds within 24 hours and a person who has suffered loss of cattle, has to be compensated within 48 hours.

But as the funds in Fazilka is routed through Ferozepur in the absence of DD powers to the DC Fazilka, so there was delay in releasing the relief funds.

Basant Kumar Garg, Deputy Commissioner, Fazilka, however, said that the delay in getting the DD power did not affect the flood relief work in the district. "Routed through Ferozepur, the funds were reaching on time and did not hamper the flood relief or any other work," he said.

As Fazilka is a new district, so it is a matter of procedue and giving DD power took some time, he said. "I got the DD powers on Wednesday (September 28) and now there is no problem," said Basant Kumar Garg, the Fazilka DC.

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