Central team visits drought-hit dists

Report to be submitted within ten days, based on which assistance will be provided

 
 A member of a Central team inspecting seedlings affected by drought at Janwada  village in Bidar taluk on Monday. DH PhotoThe team comprising Union Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative Department, Joint Secretary Jiji Thomson; Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), National Planning Coordinator Chandregowda; and Directorate of Oil and Seeds, Director Gurumukhi visited Bidar.

In view of the complete failure of the South West monsoon, the team visited agriculture fields, where kharif crops were sown, and held deliberations with the affected farmers.
The team visited Janwada and Markal villages of Bidar taluk; Santhpur, Ladha and Jonnekeri villages in Aurad taluk; and select places in Bhalki taluk.

Aurad MLA Prabhu Chavan and Bhalki MLA Eshwar Khandre met the team members and appraised them of the drought situation. The team assured the elected representatives that a comprehensive report would be submitted to the Union government soon.

Earlier, during their interaction with the farmers at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) near Janwada village, Rajya Raitha Sangha members submitted a memorandum claiming that 95 per cent of seeds sown during Kharif had failed.

The memorandum stated that large number of farmers, who had taken loans to procure seeds during Kharif season, had suffered huge financial losses due to this. They urged the central team to grant a compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre to the affected farmers, in order to procure seeds for alternative corps.

Report in 10 days

Assistant Advisor of the Drinking Water Project in Kolar, D Rajashekar assured that following the drought assessment by the Central team, the report would be compiled in seven to 10 days, based on which assistance will be sought from the Centre.

Speaking to reporters after visiting drought-affected areas in Kolar, he said: “We are still in the initial stages of estimation. The district administration has statistically elaborated on the drought situation. After the physical assessment, a clear stand on the compensation will be taken.” As per the present estimates, Kolar district needs a compensation of Rs 133.68 crore.

Joint Director, Ministry of Finance, Dr A K Raina visited agricultural land in Haruvanahalli village of Hospet taluk; Shivapur, Gollarahatti, Kuppinakere and Kandagallu village of Kudligi taluk.

He collected information about sunflower, maize, groundnut and cotton crops destroyed in the villages due to the lack of rains.

Deputy Commissioner B Shivappa, who accompanied the team, said that around Rs 66 crore worth of crops were destroyed and all the details regarding the drought-affected areas, along with numbers, had been given to the team.

Speaking at Bagalkot on Monday, Revenue Minister Karunakara Reddy said that the central team would be provided with accurate information to ensure that assistance is extended immediately.

He also informed that the Centre has asked the State to submit a proposal for the permanent rehabilitation of villages that are affected by floods every year.

Rs 395 cr assistance sought

The Central team, which toured Bidar, Kolar and Bellary districts on Monday, will continue its tour on Tuesday and is scheduled to visit Koppal, Gulbarga and Tumkur districts.

These six districts are badly affected due to drought. The team is scheduled to arrive in Bangalore on Tuesday evening.

Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao is scheduled to meet the team members on Wednesday at 10 am.

The State government has already declared 86 taluks in 20 districts as drought affected. It has sought Rs 395 crore assistance from the Centre to take up relief operations.

Hence, the Centre has sent the team to study the situation and take a decision based on the report submitted by the team, official sources said.

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