Interim relief: Cabinet sub-panel to meet on Oct 9

Floods washed away roads at Konnur village in Naragund Taluk of Gadag district which disrupted traffic on the national highway. | DH Photo: Pushkar V

The Centre’s interim relief of Rs 1,200 crore will be used to help those displaced by the floods construct new homes and compensate farmers for crop losses, authorities said Saturday. 

The Cabinet sub-committee on natural calamities headed by Revenue Minister R Ashoka  is slated to meet on October 9 where modalities for the way forward will be finalised.

The Centre’s interim relief of Rs 1,200 crore will add to Rs 2,577.93 crore the state government had already released to take up flood-relief work. “So, it’s not that the government had stopped working because there was no money before the Centre announced the interim relief,” Revenue Secretary (disaster management) T K Anil Kumar said, adding that at least Rs 500 crore is available with the district administration of Belagavi, one of the worst-hit districts. 

The government has started the process of geotagging homes that have sustained damages to ensure the flood-relief funds are not misused. The geotagging has also meant that the flood damage data is dynamic in that it is constantly updated. For instance, the government had estimated initially that 2.43 lakh people will need housing, which is now down to 1.16 lakh. 

Speaking to reporters, Ashoka said Karnataka is eligible to get Rs 3,891.80 crore from the Centre as per National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms. “Out of that, the Centre has granted Rs 1,200 crore and we will request the Centre to release more soon,” he said. 

On Saturday, the Finance Commission Division of the Department of Expenditure under the Finance Ministry released the interim relief to Karnataka in two batches - Rs 897 crore and
Rs 303 crore. 

Ashoka clarified that the Centre had not “rejected” the state’s flood damage assessment. “The Centre has just sought some clarification on Rs 10,000 assistance we have given to 2,365 families (totalling Rs 202.36 crore) inside whose homes flood water had entered. This Rs 10,000 includes NDRF share of Rs 3,800,” he explained. “The Centre said it can’t be given, but our opinion is that it can.”

Soon after the floods smashed, the government released Rs 417.93 crore, Ashoka said, and Rs 1,160 crore had been given to the Housing department for the new houses that have to be built. “We are identifying land for the new houses. We’re looking at minimum 30x30 or 30x40 sqft sites. Beneficiaries will get Rs 1 lakh in advance,” Ashoka said.

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