Central team to visit Karnataka to assess flood-damage

Central team to visit Karnataka to assess flood-damage

This handout picture released by the Karnataka Goverment Information Department shows an aerial view of Raichur city in floodwaters on October 3, 2009.

The team will comprise officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Finance (Department of Expenditure), Road Transport and Highways, Rural Development, Power and Water Resources besides those from the Planning Commission, officials said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has urged all government officials to voluntarily work two hours extra every day to help the government undertake the huge task of relief and rehabilitation works of the flood-hit.

"This is an unprecedented calamity, which requires committed action by every member of society," he said.

"Government officials play a significant role in providing relief and succour to the affected masses by ensuring that the benefits of the Government reach them in time. Two hours of extra work (one hour extra in the morning and evening) will certainly hasten the process of rehabilitation. It is only voluntary and will not be implemented by force".

Yedduyrappa thanked Government employees associations for having contributed one-day salary towards rehabilitation work.

Karnataka has already promulgated an ordinance providing enhanced expenditure under calamity relief from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,500 crore.

Yeddyurappa urged Governor H R Bharadwaj to help get substantial aid from the Centre to tackle the flood situation and provide relief to the flood victims.

The Chief Minister has also sought cooperation of all lorry owners regarding the additional tax to be levied (likely from next month) on trucks transporting iron ore, granite, sand and wood and comply with the measure.

"It's a known fact that trucks carrying these items are causing huge damages to roads, leading to accidents and other related inconveniences", Yeddyurappa said.

"The Government has pondered over this matter for the last six months and decided in Monday's cabinet meeting to levy additional tax to mobilise resources to maintain roads. This decision is no way connected with the proposed flood tax", he said.

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