Central team to visit drought-hit Karnataka again

A high-level team from Centre will visit Karnataka to tour drought-hit districts from August 21 to 25.

The ten-member team led by Pravesh Sharma, MD, small farmers, agri business consortium of the department of agriculture and cooperation, New Delhi will comprise officials from the ministries of water resources, rural development, agriculture and animal husbandry and the Planning Commission.

The team will be split into two and one team will visit Chamarajnagar, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts while the other will assess the situation in Gadag, Koppal and Bijapur districts. This will be the third expert team from the Centre visiting the State to study the drought situation after failure of monsoon. So far, the Centre has released Rs 354 crore to the State to take up relief measures, a senior official from the Agriculture Ministry told Deccan Herald.

Though some parts of Karnataka received rainfall, sowing activities have not taken place in 43 per cent area, Karnataka Revenue Secretary Amarnarayana said.

Last week, the Karnataka government sought Rs 11,480-crore grant from the Centre to take up drought relief measures. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar will visit the national capital on Thursday and meet Union ministers to apprise the drought situation in the State. The chief minister will also hold a meeting of MPs from Karnataka on Friday to request them to impress upon the Centre to allocate maximum grant to the State. 

The Centre is also sending teams to Rajasthan to assess the drought situation there. Besides Karnataka and Rajasthan, other states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana have declared some areas as drought-hit.

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