Telugu Desam Party president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has demanded judicial probe into the “human error" behind improper maintenance of projects and tanks that led to the devastation in Rayalaseema-Nellore floods in which more than 60 people have died.
Calling the deaths “government murders”, Naidu slammed the state government for playing a dangerous game with nature, which resulted in widespread destruction. He also said at least Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia should be paid to the kin of deceased.
Accusing the YSRCP government of “unpreparedness”, Naidu said a thorough probe should be carried out into the poor quality works in the Annamayya, Pincha, Kalyani and other projects. The Thummalagunta tank was wrongfully converted into a cricket stadium. So, flood from upper water bodies had no natural outlet and eventually rampaged MR Palli, Autonagar and such areas, he pointed out.
Even a week after floods, the government failed to restore normalcy in the inundated areas. Six villages in Kadapa district were still cut off from the rest of the areas.
Naidu asked the government why it failed to give confidence to the family of Subba Rao who was washed away in the flood at Lakshmipuram circle. His wife was bedridden and nobody was there to retrieve his body. “Annamayya project gates could not be lifted as they got stuck. No funds were given in the past two-and-half years to repair the gates. No effort was made to pump out flood water from Rayalacheruvu tank,” he added.
The TDP chief objected to the manner in which the Andhra Pradesh government sought central funds without spending the required state money on relief and restoration. “It was shameful that just Rs 4 crore was released initially. The state government should have released and taken up works of at least Rs 100 crore and then claimed for the central share under calamity relief funds.”
Naidu said the “inexperience" of the YSRCP regime has become “a curse for the people of Andhra Pradesh". The state government has not released minimum required funds but has sought Rs 1,000 crore from the Centre. It has put estimated losses at Rs 6,000 crore without taking up required relief activities. “Even helicopters, which should be used for dumping food and relief material in inundated areas were being misused for personal visits and photo sessions.”