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State may get Rs 294 cr as drought relief

Last Updated : 29 May 2012, 18:44 IST

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The Centre is likely to sanction Rs 294 crore as grant for drought relief to Karnataka. This means that the State gets just eight per cent of the total relief of Rs 3,605 crore it had sought from the Union government.

Secretariat sources said the Centre had indicated to the State that a final decision would be taken at a high-level committee meeting in New Delhi, either on June 1 or 2.

A Central team of officers had visited parts of Tumkur, Chitradurga and Chikkaballapur from May 13 to 16 to study the severity of drought in the districts. 

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and leaders of the Opposition parties had requested the Prime Minister to sanction at least Rs 1,500 crore as immediate relief. 

The State had also sought funds under the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF), besides the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF). The Centre is yet to indicate whether the funds would be released under the NCCF or CRF.

Sources said 20 of the 24 districts identified as drought-hit have not received pre-monsoon showers.

Criticised

Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti on Tuesday condemned the Centre for not responding to the State’s plea for drought relief and said such an anti-farmer government should not continue in power. He said farmers in Karnataka were in distress because of severe drought. The State government has sought Rs 5,800 crore from the NCCF. “Except for sending its officials to inspect the affected areas twice, it did nothing. The Centre should have released money to the State at least on humanitarian grounds,” he added. Farmers have been badly hit due to the wrong policies of the Centre. Fertiliser prices have increased by 360 per cent in the last three years. 

The State governments are finding it increasingly difficult to supply quality power to farmers as there is a shortage in coal supply from the Centre. If the situation continues, the country will face a major food crisis in the coming years, he warned.

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Published 29 May 2012, 18:44 IST

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