Additional 60,000 tons of foodgrains released to Ktaka:Ramesh

The Centre has released 60,000 tons of foodgrains to Karnataka during 2012-13 for calamity relief in addition to its regular allotment of 2.40 lakh tons in view of the state facing severe drought conditions, Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said today.

"30,000 tons of rice and 30,000 tons of wheat allotted immediately as calamity relief over and above the state's (regular) allotment in 2012-13... Karnataka has been allotted 2.40 lakh tons of foodgrains for distribution among Below Poverty Line (BPL) families", he said after holding discussions with Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda here.

Four backward  districts of Bidar, Chitradurga, Davanagere and Gulbarga would continue to get additional allotment of foodgrains for the next six months, he said.

Ramesh said during their hour-long meeting, attended by state's Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar and top officials, issues concerning rural sanitation, "Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and drinking water problems were debated.

He said only 20 per cent of gram panchayats in Karnataka had turned "Nirmal Gram Panchayats" (Open defecation free villages)  and he suggested that in the next five years all panchayats be covered under the programe.

Drinking water has remained another problem as not even 50 per cent of the area had been covered so far. Districts like Tumkur, Chitradurga, Mandya and Bellary faced serious problem of flouride content in water and at least 30,000 habitations suffer from this menace, he pointed out.

The Centre had asked the state governemnt to submit a proposal to supply surface water in areas facing drinking water problem and proposed to implement the project in Bijapur and Chitradurga on a pilot basis under the public private partnership (PPP) mode.

The Centre would contribute 30 per cent of the cost, state 30 per cent and 40 per cent by the private sector for this project, he said.

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