Weather watch master control facility for State to come up soon

Cabinet gives the green signal

The MCF, which was cleared by the State Cabinet on Monday, will give Tsunami and floods alerts and reports about the monsoon and seismic activities in the State. The Government will receive weather predictions on hourly basis once the facility is set up. Besides, it will help in effective implementation of the weather-based crop insurance scheme.

Dubbed as the first of its kind in India, the MCF will come up on a 10 acre plot on Yelahanka-Jalahalli road on the outskirts of Bangalore.  The facility, which is adopted on the UK technology, will be built within one year’s time. The cabinet agreed to provide Rs 6.72 crore for this purpose, Home Minister V S Acharya told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

Digital rain gauges are being set up at hobli level and there are 12 seismographic stations across the State. The MCF will collect data from these places and process them. The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre will operate the facility.

Schemes to clear arrears

The cabinet okayed implementation of two schemes for those who have arrears to clear to the Government towards excise and erstwhile sales tax. As per the excise arrears, the entire interest component will be waived off if one pays up the principal amount within three months after the issue of notification in this regard. The total arrears amount is Rs 251.25 crore, Acharya said.

Housing schemes

The cabinet gave its nod for the implementation of three subsidised housing schemes -- Vajpayee Urban Sites Scheme (50,000 sites), Vajpayee Urban Housing Scheme (2 lakh houses) and Basava Indira Housing Scheme (one lakh houses). Both Vajpayee Sites and Housing schemes will be implemented in Bangalore also, he added.

Women reservation

The cabinet also approved the draft amendment bill that seeks to increase the reservation to women in Zilla Panchayats and Taluk Panchayats from the present 33 per cent to 50 per cent. Besides, a bill that seeks to make a provision for the use Electronic Voting Machines  in panchayat elections was also approved by the cabinet.

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