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Wednesday, January 24, 2018 09:10:51 AM
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Restore discipline in relief distribution

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MEDIA reports said massive corruption, irregularities and mishandling of relief goods as they fall far short of the soaring number of people in the queue only shows their unending plights in the post-flood situation in most areas of the affected districts. Moreover the distribution of low cost rice through Open Market Sale (OMS) is also failing the people who deserve it the most in many cases as dealers and local ruling party leaders involved in the distribution system are reportedly removing much of the stock and selling in black market. Media reports highlighted some irregularities in relief and OMS management of rice on Thursday in the worst flood affected areas of Sunamgonj district. In Tahirpur, Jagannathpur and Derai upazila of the districts, as per reports most people are not getting the deliveries as dealers and party men are making their own fortune.     
This is almost the same situation without any visible improvement from past mishandling of OMS rice and relief goods. Local Government bodies know the mess, as also the policy makers above are not in the dark. Police and law enforcers are equally watching the development but any corrective measure is not noticeable as the perpetrators are locally powerful people. It is indeed sad and deplorable that they are taking away the food of the poor for black marketing while the concerned government agencies are sitting with their hands crossed. Their insensitivities are highly repugnant but there is none to ask for accountability as to why enough allocation is not being made and available stock is going into black market. Even officials in the spot have no answer to complaints from people saying they would inform the higher authorities and that's all.      
Irregularities in making list of beneficiaries of Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme and cash distribution programme is highly intriguing. Corruption and nepotism are high dominating the VGF system when party men are adding fake names or names of their own relatives to the list of beneficiaries as genuine poor keep on watching the development. We have always suggested that cash distribution provides easiest way of grabbing the money for the poor, but it continues. Moreover the presence of VGF rice in local market is enough to suggest the theft of the food grains for the poor.
We must say relief and OMS rice is not for the rich and the concerned authorities must do everything to help the poor and common people when they have lost their crops in the flood to become empty handed. What makes us worrying is that corrupt and dishonest people are grabbing the resources for the poor in almost open defiance of rule of law and fear to be punished. Being party men they are enjoying impunity but we say it must stop fortnight.

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