‘15.5 cr released for relief work in 62 taluks’

As many as 62 taluks, including seven in Dakshina Kannada district, that have been declared as drought-hit have received the first installment of Rs 25 lakh each for carrying out drought relief works, District In-charge Minister U T Khader said on Monday.

“The remaining installment of Rs 25 lakh will be released soon,” Khader told mediapersons at Circuit House in the city.

He said the government had also released Rs one crore each to three drought-hit taluks, Rs 50 lakh for city municipal councils, Rs 25 lakh for Town Municipal Councils and Rs 10 lakh each for town panchayats in the state.

Khader who is also the member of the drought study team, headed by Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Krishna Byre Gowda, said 20% ceiling on the utilisation of funds for supplying potable water had been relaxed by the government.

“Thus, the gram panchayats (GP) can spend in excess of 20% for providing potable water to the residents,” he said and added that relaxation was a big relief for the gram panchayats.

He credited MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act) for preventing the migration of thousands of people to cities during drought. “Yet the centre has not released Rs 2,059 crore (of the state’s total share of Rs 10,000 cr for this fiscal),” alleged Khader .

Thus, the centre has openly violated MGNREGA. With the money kept pending, even officials have lost interest, he said and added that the government was deliberating on clearing the pending amount from its funds.

“No final decision has been taken in this regard,” he added. Khader, who is also Urban Development Minister, said his department had exempted floor area ration in order to motivate apartment owners to install roof-top solar panels.

He said as the state is self-sufficient in power, the tariff for solar panels had dipped sharply.

Khader condemning those involved in glorifying Godse, sought to know why the centre was silent on such issues.

He said the act of insulting Mahatma Gandhi had sent a wrong message to the world. Khader declared the centre’s budget as neither pro-people nor a popular budget. Both Karnataka and South India had been ignored in the budget.

The budget also had no specific programmes for the students, he added. Replying to a query, the minister said tenders had been floated for mining of sand near Thumbe vented dam.

The sand will be stocked in our dockyard and any one requiring sand can approach government officials. He clarified that eight gram panchayats in the district were allowed to mine the limited sand available in their rivers and sell it to the poor people. Congress Corporator A C Vinayraj, Zilla Panchayat member Mamatha Gatty among others were also present.

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‘15.5 cr released for relief work in 62 taluks’

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