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Higher drought relief sought

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, DEC. 20. Faced with continued drought in some taluks and the devastation caused by rain in some others, the Government has decided to take another delegation to the Centre pleading for higher relief.

The State has also urged the Centre to send another team to study the damage caused by heavy rain.

The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, said here today that he would lead the delegation to the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, shortly as more and more taluks are coming in the grip of drought.

Addressing presspersons after a meeting with the Central relief team, led by the Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture, Prem Narain, Mr. Singh said that the State has also urged the Centre to release Rs.159 crores for taking up relief measures in the areas ravaged by heavy rain in recent months.

Already, the State Government has submitted a memorandum requesting the Centre to release Rs. 1,147 crores and 4.5 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for tackling the drought and provide relief to the people.The Chief Minister said that the Central team that visited Gulbarga, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Kolar and Chitradurga districts in three groups will submit a report which he hoped will be favourable to the State.

There was also prevalence of dry weather in some of the taluks, described as "agricultural drought" when the growth of the crops will be affected at some stage.

The team also discussed the drought relief measures with the Chairman of the Cabinet subcommittee and the Revenue Minister, M.P. Prakash, and its members who include the Water Resources Minister, M. Mallikarjuna Kharge, the Industries Minister, P.G.R. Sindhia, the Agriculture Minister, K. Srinivasa Gowda, and the Energy and Public Works Minister, H.D. Revanna.

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