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Centre promises adequate assistance to State for flood relief work

Special Correspondent

Shivraj Patil and Radhika Selvi review damage caused by rain and floods



Keen observation: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs V. Radhika Selvi discussing with Dharwad Deputy Commissioner M.S. Srikar during her aerial survey of flood-affected districts in the State on Sunday.

BANGALORE: The Union Government on Sunday assured the State Government of providing adequate financial assistance to take up relief and rehabilitation work in 14 flood-affected districts of the State.

Union Minister Home Shivraj Patil reviewed the damaged caused by rain and floods in north Karnataka and said, “The Union Government will definitely look into the demands of the State and try to provide enough financial assistance to undertake relief work. Money is not a problem, equipment is not a problem. Please don’t worry. Money will come to you (State).”

Loss

The State Government has estimated the loss at Rs. 1,000 crore. Forty-one people and 368 heads of cattle died and 72,028 houses were damaged in the recent rain and floods. Standing crops in 2.42 lakh hectares of land were destroyed. Many roads, bridges and buildings were damaged and 213 villages were inundated in the State.

A senior official said that the Government would assess the exact loss in four days and submit a proposal to the Centre seeking financial assistance to take up relief work.

The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

A presentation on the loss owing to the recent rain and floods was made to Mr. Patil and Union Minister of State for Home Radhika Selvi. Mr. Patil said the Centre would send a team of officials to assess the damage in 14 districts soon. Unfortunately, this year the State suffered badly on account of rain havoc three times since June last. The State Government had faced difficulties in setting up of relief centres. “In a situation like this heavy demands are being made. All demands cannot be met. However, we provide all possible help, both finance and manpower, to tackle the situation,” Mr. Patil said. The State Government has submitted two memorandums to the Centre, one seeking Rs. 1,500 crore and the other for Rs. 4,000 crore. Mr. Kumaraswamy thanked Mr. Patil for assessing the loss. President of the State unit of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Dharam Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Council H.K. Patil submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister seeking maximum possible assistance to the State. Minister for Planning and Science and Technology Ramachandra Gowda, Chief Secretary P.B. Mahishi, Principal Secretary (Revenue) S.M. Jamadar and senior officials attended the meeting.

Aerial survey

Hubli staff correspondent reports: Ms. Selvi, who conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Gadag, Dharwad and Bagalkot districts, told presspersons in Hubli that extensive damage had been caused by the floods in these districts.

She, however, declined to give further information on the flood situation. She even declined to comment on the “reported delay” in releasing Central aid for relief works in the State.

She said that she would brief Mr. Patil on the flood situation in the State.

B. Murali Kumar, Director, Disaster Management, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, said that the Ministry had received two memorandums from the State seeking aid. In response to the first memorandum, a Central team had visited the affected areas and submitted a report. The request for aid was being processed. The second memorandum was received “recently”, Mr. Murali Kumar said. On the “delay” in releasing funds, he said the Ministry had to act according to the procedures and process the requests.

Amita Prasad, Regional Commissioner of Belgaum, said that according to a preliminary assessment, the loss in Dharwad district had been put at Rs. 124 crore, Rs. 80 crore in Bagalkot district and Rs. 159 crore in Gadag district.

Revenue Secretary Seetaram said that a tentative proposal based on the preliminary assessment would be submitted to the Central team headed by Mr. Shivaraj Patil.

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