'State has spent Rs 1,921 crore on drought relief work'

'State has spent Rs 1,921 crore on drought relief work'

Money spent insufficient, additionally Rs 700 cr funds may be sanctioned: Minister

Revenue Minister V Srinivas Prasad, who hit back at the opposition parties over drought relief work, said a total of Rs 1,921 crore, including Central grants of Rs 1,645 crore, had been spent so far for the welfare of affected people.

He was speaking to media persons, along with district-level officials here, on Tuesday. Reacting to the comments by opposition leaders and Central ministers like D V Sadananda Gowda that the State had not spent any money on drought relief and was only accusing the Centre of not releasing the funds, he said, “The drought-affected people will get the relief amount in their bank accounts, throughout the State, before January 25.”

The minister said as the funds spent so far was insufficient, an additional Rs 700 crore State funds may be sanctioned after discussing the issue in the Cabinet.

Recalling that 136 taluks in 27 districts had been declared drought-hit, Prasad said, the State incurred Rs 15,636 crore loss and was the first to submit a memorandum to the Centre, demanding Rs 3,830 crore under National Drought Relief Fund (NDRF).

“Even though the Centre sanctioned Rs 1,540 crore on December 1, it was released only recently and it has been distributed to 25 districts in proportion to the estimated loss.

While Belagavi has got the highest of Rs 220.68 crore, Shivamogga has got the least of Rs 1.84 crore. Hassan has got Rs 50.33 crore, Mysuru-Rs 35.73 crore, Mandya-Rs 28.48 crore and Chamarajanagar-Rs 17.93 crore. The beneficiaries will now get 68 per cent of the relief estimated for their crop loss and in Mysuru 1,19,150 beneficiaries have been identified in five taluks,” he said.

Stating that the Rs 1,540 crore sanctioned under the NDRF is the highest ever in the history of the State, the minister said the State got an additional Rs 105 crore for damages due to hail storms in some parts. Previously, the State had got Rs 1,400 crore in 2009.

“Besides, the State has spent Rs 376 crore from its resources — regular annual calamity fund of Rs 207 crore, Rs 69 crore under the State disaster plan and a budget allocation of Rs 100 crore. As even kharif crop has been lost in 12 northern districts, another memorandum for an additional relief of Rs 700 crore will be submitted to the Centre after a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee, scheduled to be held shortly,” he said.

Pointing out that the State has withstood six calamities since the Congress government came to power, Prasad said the government had taken all necessary steps to provide drinking water for both people and cattle and also fodder for the cattle.

Deputy Commissioner C Shikha, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer P A Gopal, Mysuru City Corporation Commissioner C G Betsurmath were present.