Are the drought relief funds diverted to private construction project?
An application was filed with the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about the utilisation of funds meant for drought relief. The reply from the KWA shows that money from the drought relief funds was used to provide water supply to a private construction project in Kochi.
The reply states that Rs. 50,000 were sanctioned by the district administration from the fund for laying pipes along the stadium link road for supplying water to a private villa project. The reply also shows that the KWA had floated a tender for the said work.
Meanwhile, the district collector and the KWA authorities have already started the blame game. The KWA executive engineer said that the project was started only after getting a nod from the collector and that the KWA was merely executing the orders. The district collector, on the other hand, said that the needy areas for drought relief funds are identified by the MLA and responsibility to ensure proper utilization of the fund rests with the KWA. However, the applicant has demanded that an inquiry must be conducted into the misuse of drought relief funds.