Karnataka seeks Rs 2,000 cr, two central teams to assess damage

New Delhi/Bengaluru: Two central teams will visit Karnataka soon to assess the damage caused by rains and floods in seven of its districts in August, even as the state sought immediate release of Rs 2,000 crore for relief work.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday assured a Karnataka delegation led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy that the two teams of officers will visit Kodagu, Malnad and Dakshina Kannada districts to assess the damage,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said in Bengaluru.

The assurance came after Kumaraswamy sought the immediate release of Rs 2,000 crore central package for rehabilitation of affected persons and rebuilding of infrastructure in the affected areas.

The Chief Minister had appraised Modi of the situation in the southwest districts due to floods as well as drought situation in the interior and northern districts of the state.

“The state has pegged the loss at Rs 3,706 crore, as the rainfall in August’s second week was the highest in the last 118 years, which caused floods and landslides and led to losses of agricultural and horticultural crops and plantation, as well as damage to houses and infrastructure in the affected districts,” the Chief Minister told Modi.

The Chief Minister told Modi that drought situation prevailed in 17 interior and northern districts due to deficit rains in the monsoon season.

“A Cabinet sub-committee is assessing the losses due to drought and a report will be sent to the central government for relief,” said the statement.

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande, PWD Minister H.D. Revanna, Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Byre Gowda were part of the delegation.

“The state has been facing drought conditions in the last 13 years. As per preliminary estimates, agricultural and horticultural crops over 15 lakh hectares have been affected, with an estimated loss of Rs 8,000 crore,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after the meeting in New Delhi.

Deshpande said crops on 23,123 hectares was affected due to floods, resulting in Rs 1,242-crore losses to farmers.

“There has been a dry spell till date and if it continues, about 50 per cent crop will be lost,” Deshpande said, adding that Modi had promised immediate financial assistance.

According to the state government’s assessment, the damage to infrastructure due to floods was about Rs 1,789 crore.

Last month, Kumaraswamy met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and sought special central package of Rs 2,000 crore.