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86 taluks in State are drought hit

Special Correspondent

DCs to implement relief measures immediately


Each taluk to get Rs. 10 lakh for setting up goshalas to take care of cattle

Government to provide 50 per cent subsidy on fodder cost to farmers in drought-hit taluks


Bangalore: Eighty six of the 176 taluks in the State have been declared drought-hit and the State Government has directed the deputy commissioners to immediately implement drought-relief measures.

The worst affected is Hyderabad-Karnatak region. Ten taluks in Gulbarga district have been classified as drought hit.

Minister for Revenue G. Karunakara Reddy and Minister for Agriculture S.A. Ravindranath, both of who reviewed the drought situation in the Secretariat on Monday, told presspersons that the drought-hit taluks were in 20 of the 29 districts of the State. Directions had been issued to set up goshalas to take care of cattle and to provide drinking water through tankers.

Goshalas

Each taluk would be given Rs. 10 lakh for setting up goshalas and to provide fodder to the cattle. The Government would also provide a 50 per cent subsidy on fodder cost to the farmers in the drought-hit taluks. The Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj would undertake sinking of borewells immediately.

Nine districts had received very good rain during the south-west monsoon, particularly the taluks in the districts of Shimoga, Dakshin Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Chikmagalur. Another notable feature was that all the irrigation and hydel reservoirs in the State had received good inflows in their respective catchment areas. It was only rain-fed agriculture which had been hard hit.

Mr. Karunakara Reddy said normal rainfall during the period should have been 543 mm and the State had received 529 mm (a shortfall of 3 per cent). While the target area for cultivation during the kharif season was 72 lakh hectares, sowing has been completed only in 52 lakh hectares.

Reports

The Revenue Minister said all the deputy commissioners had been asked to compile reports on the drought situation and send them to the State headquarters within a week.

An overall report on the drought situation would be prepared and then a memorandum would be made to present to the Centre. “Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and I will go to the Centre and submit the memorandum. We have so far released Rs. 16 crore to the districts and the deputy commissioners have been asked to utilise from the Rs. 150 crore available with them,” Mr. Reddy said.

Cloud-seeding

A cloud-seeding committee, comprising senior officials of the Agriculture, Finance and Revenue departments, had been constituted to suggest the feasibility of cloud-seeding and the areas where it could be undertaken. The committee is expected to submit its report in three days.

The Union Government had also approved installation of a Doplar Radar System at Bijapur at a cost of Rs. 7 crore.

This pilot project is a scientific study on cloud-seeding and if successful, it will be implemented across the State. The radar system is effective for a radius of 100 km.

The 20 drought-hit districts are: Bidar, Gulbarga, Mysore, Mandya , Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagaram, Kolar, Chickaballapur, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davangere, Chamarajanagar, Bellary, Koppal, Raichur, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur and Gadag.

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