New Delhi, DHNS: All-party delegation led by chief minister calls on Modi.Karnataka is likely to get drought relief from the Centre next week. The assurance was given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting he had with an all-party delegation from the state led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday evening.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Siddaramaiah said the prime minister told the delegation that the high-level committee headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh would meet on January 4 to decide on drought relief to Karnataka. 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.
Making a strong pitch for maximum relief, Siddaramaiah told Modi that the state had faced the worst drought in the last 50 years, affecting 139 of the 176 taluks.
During the 30-minute meeting, Siddaramaiah also sought the prime minister’s intervention in resolving the nearly 30-year-old Mahadayi water-sharing dispute between Goa and Karnataka.
He also urged the Union government to double the mandays of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) from 100 to 200. He said the state government has already spent Rs 1,860 crore under the MGNREGA and demanded an additional Rs 2,856 crore to meet the enhanced expenses.
Last week, Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa and Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda had met Rajnath and urged him to expedite the process to assess the losses faced by the agriculture sector due to drought. Three districts – Bidar, Kalaburagi and Yadgir – faced crop losses due to excess rains.
Union ministers from Karnataka, Ananth Kumar, D V Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Seetharaman and Ramesh Jigajinagi, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Karnataka ministers H K Patil and Krishna Byre Gowda, Leader of the Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Jagdish Shettar and his counterpart in the Legislative Council K S Eshwarappa and JD(S) leaders H D Revanna and Appaji Gowda were part of the all-party delegation.
20 more taluks may get drought-hit tag
The state government is likely to add 20 more taluks to the drought-hit list next week in the wake of failure of the northeast monsoon, reports DHNS?from Bengaluru. The Cabinet will take a final decision after discussing the report prepared by the revenue department, officials said. The deficiency of rains due to the northeast monsoon from?October 1 till date is 71%. The government has already declared 139 taluks drought-hit.
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