State gets Rs 1,782-crore Central aid for drought, flood relief

State gets Rs 1,782-crore Central aid for drought, flood relief

Karnataka, which suffered a severe drought this year, was on Thursday allocated Rs 1,782.44 crore Central assistance. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the High Level Committee (HLC) chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The meeting examined the proposals based on reports of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team, which visited the states affected by flood and drought. According to an official statement, the HLC also approved Rs 1,782.44 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund for Karnataka.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had earlier demanded a Rs 5,064-crore relief package from the Centre to tide over the challenges posed by crop loss due to drought in most parts of the state and excess rains in three Hyderabad-Karnataka districts.

NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and senior officials of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance and Agriculture attended the meeting.

Karnataka was the first state this year to declare drought. The deficiency of northeast monsoon rains in the state from October 1 till date is 71% and the state government has already declared 139 taluks drought-hit.

The chief minister had led an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30 seeking his intervention for providing relief to the state which had faced the worst drought in the last 50 years.

Earlier in December 2016, Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa and Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda had met Rajnath, seeking Centre's assistance.

The Rs 1,782 crore sanctioned by the Centre, against Rs 4,702 crore sought by the state, is inadequate, said Siddaramaiah. Speaking to journalists at Mangaluru International Airport, he said the state government will approach the Centre again and request to allocate more funds.

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