Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Sunday provided a forum for political leaders to express their ideas about rebuilding the villages and lives of scores of people in the flood-ravaged districts. Leaders of the Opposition parties, by and large, gave constructive suggestions. They also had good words for the CM for the work he has done. They also said that they are with him in this hour of crisis.
It really turned out to be an all-party meeting at Vidhana Soudha. Union Ministers Veerappa Moily and K H Muniyappa, JD(S) MPs H D Kumaraswamy, besides Congress leaders Siddarmaiah, V S Ugrappa, R V Deshpande, JD(S) leader M C Nanaiah and the MPs of three prominent political parties were among those participated.
The speakers, majority of whom travelled in the flood-hit areas, were of the view that Karnataka had not witnessed disaster of this magnitude. The Centre and the State governments have equal responsibility in mitigating the sufferings of the affected. And, issues related to the relief work should not be politicised.
The Opposition leaders said money may not become a constraint for relief works. But there should be transparency in maintenance of accounts and works. The government should not close down gruel centres as people have no place to go, they should be housed in tin sheds till they are provided government houses. While assessing people’s losses, a realistic survey should be conducted, they added.
Veerappa Moily suggested the CM to come out with short, medium and long term plans. Temporary bridges should be put up to reach the villages which are yet to be reached. Seeds should be immediately distributed to farmers to take up rabi cultivation or intermediate crop cultivation.
The government must go for a permanent solution so that when floods recur villagers should not face problems. The State should immediately prepare a report with micro details of the floods and its effect and submit it to the Centre to get more funds, he suggested.
Union Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa said the villages which have been facing floods for many years should be relocated. The railway lines which have been closed in the flood hit districts would be reopened for traffic from October 15, he declared.
Siddaramaiah insisted that gruel centres should not be closed and people should be immediately provided with clothes and blankets. Villages on the banks of rivers Doni, Bhima, Krishna, Bennehole and Tungabhadra have been facing floods. It is time to relocate them on a permanent basis, he felt. Former CM H D Kumaraswamy said there are lots of contradictions in the statistics provided by the government regarding the floods. The CM, who has been doing a good job, should maintain the same pace till the relief works are completed. At the beginning of the meeting, S M Jaamdar, the nodal officer for relief works, made an audio-visual presentation on the floods.
*Waive loans raised by farmers in flood-hit districts
*Give compensation to farmers on acreage basis
*Make available loans to farmers at lower interest rates
*Take care of farmers & agri labourers for at least next 6 months
*Shift villages which face frequent flooding
*Desilt rivers which are causing floods
*Take steps to check spread of diseases
*Improve drainage systems to check flooding
*If govt had acted as soon as floods began, some more lives could have been saved