State's claim 'realistic,' says Central team

 
“After inspection, the team has understood the gravity of the situation. The team will submit its report to the Union Government in a week’s time,” Thomson, who is the Joint Secretary to the Union department of Agriculture and Cooperation, told reporters.

The six-member team wound up its two-day visit after touring six drought-affected districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Bellary, Koppal, Kolar and Tumkur on Monday and Tuesday. The team held a meeting with Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao on Wednesday.

Later, Sudhakar Rao said that the Centre was satisfied with the memorandum and told him that facts in it were “accurate”. “I also clarified to the team that the rains received in some parts of the State, are of little use to farmers. The damage to the crop has been already done,” he stated.

The team members urged the State to step up implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in drought-affected areas. However, the Chief Secretary said that the 100 days limit under the NREGS was not enough, so the State government has urged the Centre to extend it to 200 days. He said, the State has decided to distribute around 7 lakh fodder mini kits to farmers to encourage them to grow fodder. The Government will buy the fodder grown by farmers at a stipulated price, he said.

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