BENGALURU: A day after conducting an aerial survey of the flood-affected districts in North Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday termed the situation this year as more severe than previous years. Pointing out that the cumulative loss incurred by the state due to three back-to-back rain and floods this year alone was about Rs 21,609 crore, Yediyurappa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking special assistance of Rs 10,000 crore.
“Considering this dire situation, I seek your kind consideration to provide a special assistance package of Rs 10,000 crore for Karnataka to handle the relief and rehabilitation measures for the families, farmers and areas affected by the three spells of extreme rainfall and floods in August, Sep- tember and October 2020,” the CM stated in his letter to the PM on October 17, a day after the PM spoke to him, extending all support.
Appreciating the PM’s concern, which, he said, has given the muchneeded confidence to the flood affected farmers and people of the state, the letter highlights the devastation caused by floods this year. “The state in the first spell of extreme rainfall and flood in August up to September 15, suffered an estimated loss of Rs 9,441 crore.
In the second spell of devastating rainfall and flood during the second fortnight of September 2020, the estimated damage is around Rs 5,668 crore. In the current third spell of heavy rainfall and extensive flooding, which started on October 10, the initial rough estimate of damage and loss is about Rs 6,500 crore,” the letter states.
Rs 10K given to flood-hit families, says Yediyurappa Cong offers
“In all, the loss suffered in these three spells of heavy rainfall and floods is about Rs 21,609 crore,” the letter states. Speaking to reporters, the CM said houses and standing crops were damaged due to floods and the Centre has been apprised of the need for more relief to the flood-hit people. There was no dearth of funds and financial assistance of Rs 10,000 has been given to the affected families and more will be given in line with the compensation paid last year, the CM said.
The CM explained the measures taken to provide assistance to people in flood-hit areas and stated that the old National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms are insufficient to give even a modicum of relief to the affected farmers and households. He appealed to the PM that the new NDRF norms should come into force in 2020. Heavy rain and release of water into Bhima river from dams in Maharashtra had caused devastating floods in North Karnataka districts.
The floods caused extensive damage to standing crops and properties, and Army personnel had to be called in to assist in rescue operations. Sources said the CM asked the ministers and legislators to visit flood-affected areas and interact with the people. They were told to directly interact with those affected by the floods to get a firsthand report of the impact of rains and floods and ensure that all necessary assistance is provided to the affected.
The government had come under fire from the opposition and the people in the flood-hit areas as ministers were busy with the by-poll campaigning and had not rushed to help people suffering due to floods. Sources in the government said that in the last six years from 2014-15 to 2019-20, a total of Rs 1,332 crore was released to the state as the Centre’s share under SDRF and Rs 9,279 was released under NDRF, which is much more compared to funds released during the UPA rule. From 2008 to 2013-14, Rs 724 crore released to the state under the SDRF and Rs 2,669 under the NDRF, sources said, dismissing the Congress’s allegations that the Centre is not releasing enough funds under the SDRF and NDRF.