New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday urged the Centre to immediately release Rs 2,000 crore for undertaking flood and other relief work in the state.
The demand made by a state delegation led by Kumaraswamy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes in the backdrop of losses of approximate Rs 12,000 crore due to floods in parts of Karnataka in August and drought in other parts.
The delegation met Modi here on Monday and apprised him about the loss of human life, agriculture and infrastructure by torrential rains.
“We told him (Modi) that the flood loss is to the tune of Rs 3,705 crore,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after the meeting.
“Also, the state has been witnessing severe drought conditions during the last 13 of the 17 years. As per preliminary estimates, more than 15 lakh hectares of agricultural and horticultural crops have been affected, with a loss of around Rs 8,000 crore.”
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande and Irrigation Minister D.K. Shivakumar were part of the delegation.
Kumaraswamy told Modi that over half the state’s area was facing drought situation this year due to weak monsoon while uneven distribution of rain was recorded over the north and south interior Karnataka.
Deshpande said that crop on 23,123 hectares was affected due to floods, leading to losses totalling Rs 1,242 crore.
“There has been a dry spell in September and if it continues there will be 50 per cent crop loss. As many as 67 people have lost lives in the floods,” Deshpande said, adding Modi promised immediate financial assistance.
“We look forward to the central government for liberal assistance.”
He said the rainfall in coffee-producing Kodagu district was the highest in 118 years, which not only damaged crop but infrastructure as well and rendered scores homeless.
According to the Karnataka government’s assessment, the damage to infrastructure was pegged at Rs 1,789 crore.
Last month, Kumaraswamy met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and sought special central package of Rs 2,000 crore.