Karnataka floods: BSY to meet Modi to get more funds

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presented a bouquet by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa during a meeting. (PTI Photo)

A day after the Centre sanctioned Rs 1,200 crore as initial relief for flood ravaged Karnataka, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek more funds.

 "About Rs 35,000 crore is our rough estimate. We are yet to know the actual amount. Our state has suffered more losses than any other state due to floods this time. I will meet the Prime Minister and seek more funds to be released from the centre. As immediate measure in the first stage Rs 1,200 core has been released by the central government," Yediyurappa said. 

Speaking to reporters in Alamatti, Yediyurappa expressed the hope that more funds would be released at the earliest. The Chief Minister said there was large-scale crop damage and added that he would seek the central government's cooperation as to what extent they could provide assistance. In the next budget, the state government would also make provision for more funds for the purpose and try to give assistance to the maximum extent, he said.

Yediyurappa said the government would fulfill its commitment of providing Rs five lakh each for damaged houses for reconstruction. Amid intense criticism over the delay in release of central funds for flood relief, the centre on Friday had announced release of Rs 1,200 crore in advance from the National Disaster Response Fund to Karnataka. 

Not satisfied with the allocation, the state Congress termed it as a 'humiliation' to the people of the state. Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah said "Rs 1,200 crore is not sufficient. We had asked Rs 5,000 crore as interim relief."

Speaking to reporters here, he said the state should put pressure on the central government to get more relief amount and till then, spend from its coffers. Another senior Congress leader R V Deshpande said the state government should work more effectively and urged the Centre to release Rs 5,000 crore "immediately" for relief work, as Rs 1,200 crore was not sufficient. As many as 103 taluks in 22 districts were affected due to the floods in August, in which over 80 people were killed. Around seven lakh people were shifted to safe areas and thousands of houses were damaged. Karnataka has sent a flood damage estimate of Rs 35,160.81 crore to the union government, reducing it by Rs 3,290 crore after the Centre objected to the inclusion of private buildings that were affected.

Meanwhile Revenue Minister R Ashoka told reporters here that as per NDRF guidelines, the state has to get Rs 3,891.80 crore, out of which Rs 1,200 crore was released, which was welcome. "The guidelines were not prepared by the Narendra Modi government, but by the previous UPA government..... We request that the remaining amount also be released at the earliest," he said. Clarifiying that the centre had not rejected the state's flood report, he said they had just sought some clarification on it. Ashoka's statement came amid media reports that the Centre had sent back the state government's report on flood and rain related damages in Karnataka.

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