Disaster relief delay: Karnataka, TN cases denote systemic challenge - The Tribune India

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Disaster relief delay

Karnataka, TN cases denote systemic challenge

Disaster relief delay

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



A state grappling with the aftermath of natural calamities, having to fight legal battles with the Centre over disaster relief funds underscores broader issues of governance and accountability. The Supreme Court’s intervention following pleas from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu sheds light on the urgent need for clarity and expediency in disbursing funds earmarked for disaster management.

The grievances voiced by the two states, seeking additional aid from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), are symptomatic of a systemic challenge. Both states cite provisions under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, which mandate timely and adequate assistance in the wake of calamities. However, the process of accessing NDRF funds appears mired in bureaucratic hurdles. Despite requisite assessments and recommendations, both states allege conspicuous inertia on the part of the Centre in releasing funds promptly. It not only undermines the spirit of cooperative federalism but also severely compromises the state governmnets’ ability to deliver relief to the needy. Tamil Nadu’s plea, following Cyclone Michaung and subsequent floods, highlights the pressing need for immediate relief measures to mitigate the suffering of the affected people. Similarly, Karnataka’s appeal, prompted by severe drought conditions last September, sums up the precariousness of agricultural livelihoods and the need for urgent intervention.

The legal confrontation reflects the discord between the Centre and Opposition-ruled states, including Punjab. Kerala’s recent petition regarding the curtailment of the state’s borrowing powers and the disputes over gubernatorial assent to Bills accentuates the strained relations. At stake are the lives and livelihoods of millions of citizens. The release of funds by the NDRF, regarded as a lifeline during a crisis, must not be slowed down by red tape or political wrangling.

#Karnataka #Supreme Court #Tamil Nadu


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