Declare Karnataka floods national calamity: KPCC

Belgaum (Karnataka): The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) on Tuesday protested here asking for more relief for those affected during Karnataka floods and also demanded for it to be declared a ‘national calamity’.

The protest was led by KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, former president SS Patil and working president Eshwar Khandre.

Rao also wrote a letter to Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala and said, “Enormous financial loss suffered and the hardship being faced by the people of Karnataka, warranted the immediate attention of the government of India and declare the situation in Karnataka as ‘National Calamity’.”

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In his letter, Rao highlighted that, “More than 88 persons have lost their lives, still 10 persons are missing; more than 7 lakh people have been rendered houseless; 1465 rehabilitation centres are sheltering about 4.6 lakh homeless people; agriculture and horticulture crops standing in 7.90 lakh hectare have been completely destroyed; 2.37 lakh houses are damaged; 1.70 lakh houses are completely collapsed; total crop loss in 7.28 lakh hectare; landslide has resulted in complete loss of cultivable land in 5000 hectares; 35,000 km of road is damaged; 2828 bridges and culverts are damaged and collapsed; 57,000 electric poles are uprooted; 14,076 power transformers are damaged; 3724 power lines damaged; thousands of coffee estates have been destroyed.”

Rao stated that “basic infrastructure like schools, roads, tanks, canals, culverts, bridges, power lines, telephone lines, railway tracks, hospitals, government buildings etc have been severely damaged.”

He further claimed that though the Union Home Minister, Union Finance Minister and other ministers and central team have surveyed the Karnataka flood situation, so far, “no special grants or funds have been released by government of India.”

“Consequently, the relief works are inadequate, stand still and lakhs of people are suffering a shortage of food, clothing, medicine, drinking water, fooder for cattle, etc. No steps have been taken to re-open schools in flood-affected areas. Textbooks, uniforms have not been provided to students. No steps have been taken by the government of Karnataka to construct houses, so far, the government has given only Rs 10,000 per family in certain cases. NGOs and political parties have contributed to some extent,” he added.

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