Karnataka turns focus on relief operations


Based on initial reports, the state has estimated that the loss caused by the floods to roads, bridges, culverts, houses, village and infrastructure and standing crops in 25 lakh hectares area amounted to Rs 16,500 crore.

Around 2.5 lakh houses have either collapsed or damaged by the torrential rains with as many as 1.8 crore people affected. The death toll as of last evening was 194.
There is let up in the rains in the past two days, giving some respite to the flood victims.

"Karnataka is reeling under unprecedented floods caused by heavy rains", Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who has camped in affected areas and been conducting aerial and overseeing rescue and relief works, said.

"This century's most severe rain has wreaked havoc in 18 districts and has jeopardised the life of the people", he said, adding "the rain has damaged property worth Rs 20,000 crore".

The state has submitted a memorandum to Home Minister P Chidambaram, who yesterday conducted an aerial survey of the floot-hit areas along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, seeking Rs 16,500 crore for relief and rehabilitation works.

The state government has set up more than 1,200 rehabilitation centres and over 3.5 lakh rain and flood affected people are being provided food and temporary shelter.

The immediate task before the government is to reconstruct roads, supply drinking water, restore houses and power supply, provide health care and contain the spread of epidemic diseases in the affected areas, officials said.

The government has appealed to the people, voluntary organisations, corporate bodies, and philanthropists to donate liberally for the "noble cause of wiping tears of the flood victims".

In this direction, the Chief Minister himself is undertaking a march on Wednesday and Thursday seeking financial help from the citizens of Bangalore.Ministers would also do the same in the districts, where they are in-charge, and MLAs in their constituencies.

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