Thiruvananthapuram: As many as 3,000 people, who undeservedly availed financial aid provided by the state government as immediate relief to those affected by the recent floods, have returned the amount wangled by them.
Their willingness to return the money confirmed the fact that there were several persons who managed to get their name enrolled in the list of beneficiaries fraudulently and received the immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 offered by the government.
The ineligible recipients were forced to part with the amount after the list containing the name and address of all who claimed assistance from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) were displayed at village and panchayat offices.
In the wake of complaints that a large of number ineligible families had managed to enter the list, the government instructed the authorities concerned to ensure strict scrutiny of applications.
A total of 6.17 lakh families, a large majority of whom were accommodated in relief camps, had been found eligible for the assistance of Rs 10,000. The fund was released on the basis of a village-level verification process. Due to the huge number of applicants, several requests were processed without any field verification, allowing many persons undeservedly claim assistance from the fund.
The government had directed district administrations to publish the list of beneficiaries on their website. Apart from forwarding the list to local self-governing bodies and their elected representatives, the names and addresses of all of them have been displayed at village offices across the state as well.
The ineligible beneficiaries returned the amount fearing legal proceedings against them including penalties as well public shame and disgrace.