K’taka to seek relief package from Centre over severe drought
Bengaluru, Sep 19 (IANS) Karnataka government is preparing to submit a proposal seeking a Rs 6,000 crore package from the central government in the backdrop of severe drought.
Minister for Revenue Krishna Bhyregowda said that due to severe drought, the state has suffered 42 lakh hectares of the crop loss including 2 lakh hectares of horticultural crop.
“We will seek Rs 6,000 crore package from the central government. They can provide additional funds under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). The submission will be made to provide compensation to provide drinking water and crop loss,” he said.
He said that the Karnataka government had declared 195 taluks are drought prone as per the guidelines of the central government.
“A meeting has been held regarding the submission of a report to the central government. Last week a cabinet sub-committee meeting was held and we had sought reports from the departments of agriculture and horticulture. A memorandum has also been prepared,” he said.
He said that the 45 taluks are not included in the drought list.
“There is a need to include 10 to 15 more taluks in the list. The surveys will be conducted and they would be included in the list by next month,” he said.
He said that though there is greenery but there is a situation where crops cannot be cultivated. “Due to rainfall shortage, the crop has not ripened. It is not correct to declare compensation through the satellite images. The report is sent after the approval of the cabinet,” he said.
He said that earlier if there was 20 per cent shortage of rainfall, the drought was declared and there is a new rule which says drought to be declared if there is 60 per cent shortage of rainfall.
“If there is no rain for three weeks and then for a day if it rains, it cannot be declared as drought. The changes must be brought as per the situations in the states. The Chief Minister has written a letter in this regard to the central government. There is provision to declare drought prone areas till October,” he said.