BENGALURU: The expanded cabinet of the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's government in Karnataka that met for the first time here on Tuesday decided to send all the newly appointed Ministers to flood-ravaged districts of the state to assess the relief and rehabilitation being undertaken there.
More than three weeks after he was sworn in as the Chief Minister, Yediyurappa on Tuesday expanded his ministry by inducting 17 ministers into his Cabinet.
"In today's cabinet meeting, it has been decided that the Ministers who were sworn in will visit the flood-hit areas on Wednesday and the day after. They will review the situation and relief and rehabilitation work being undertaken there," Minister J C Madhuswamy said.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, he said, "After spending two days in flood-hit areas, we will meet once again and discuss the steps to be taken up."
Yediyurappa, who ran a "one-man cabinet" till expansion of his ministry on Tuesday, has held four cabinet meetings so far.
Pointing out that the state government was currently providing Rs 10,000 to every family affected by the floods, Madhuswamy said the money was expected to reach the affected families by this evening.
"We are also considering construction of temporary sheds to displaced families by providing them Rs 50,000 each whether they'll be individual sheds or like dormitory we will decide.
There may be a slight delay in the rebuilding of permanent houses for which Rs 5 lakh will be given to each, until the situation in the affected areas is back to normal," he said, adding that foodgrains would also be supplied soon.
As on Monday evening, the death toll has gone up to 82, while nine persons have been classified as missing in flood and rain-hit Karnataka, where relief and rehabilitation work was underway.
Districts of north, coastal and Malnad regions were devastated by rains, floods and landslides in the first fortnight of this month "The Ministers have been asked to visit all flood-affected areas, hold discussion with people at taluk-levels and gather information from them, and at the district-level we will hold discussion with officials regarding the work that has happened so far and what needs to done both immediately and permanently," Madhuswamy said.
Asked about relief from the Centre, the Minister said, "There is no relief yet from the Centre, but we are hopeful Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the funds soon. We are hopeful more funds will be released towards construction of houses to those displaced."
As many as 493 relief camps were operational as on Monday, where clean drinking water, food and other relief materials were being provided to 2.10 lakh people housed in them.
According to the government, 103 taluks in 22 districts have been affected by floods and incessant rains in the past few days, resulting in loss of agriculture and horticulture crops on 7.5 lakh hectares and damaging 75,317 houses.