BENGALURU: Following Karnataka's requests for Central aid towards flood relief, the High-Level Committee, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on Friday approved Rs 577.84 crore to the state.
The funds are part of Rs 4,381.88 crore approved as additional Central assistance to six states from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). Following three spells of incessant rain which caused floods and landslides in many parts of the state since August this year, Karnataka had sought Rs 10,000 crore as relief from the Centre.
The Rs 577.84 crore approved for Karnataka is towards relief for floods and landslides during the South-West monsoon. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Karnataka witnessed flash floods thrice. The first spell of heavy rainfall and flood from August to September 15 caused losses estimated at Rs 9,441 crore.
The second spell of rain and flooding during the second fortnight of September is estimated to have caused damage of Rs 5,668 crore and after the heavy rainfall and extensive flooding, starting October 10, the initial estimates of the damage have been pegged at Rs 6,500 crore.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, in October, had written to the Centre seeking relief of Rs 10,000 crore, given the financial crunch in the state. The overall loss estimated due to floods and rainfall in Karnataka till October stood at Rs 21,609 crore, according to the Chief Minister.
‘State can request for more aid’
"I thank the Union Government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, for providing additional assistance to Karnataka. Under NDRF norms, we are entitled to receive Rs 370 crore, but they have approved additional funds," said Revenue Minister R Ashoka. Regarding the state’s request for Rs 10,000 crore relief, Ashok said NDRF rules allow only limited assistance, but the state is entitled to place a request for more aid.
Apart from Rs 577.84 crore to Karnataka, the HLC has approved Rs 2,707.77 crore for West Bengal and Rs 128.23 crore for Odisha as relief for Cyclone 'Amphan', Rs 268.59 crore has been approved for Maharashtra for cyclone ‘Nisarga’, Rs 611.61 crore has been approved for Madhya Pradesh and Rs 87.84 crore for Sikkim as a relief for flash floods and landslides this year.