BENGALURU: Crops in 3.43 lakh hectares of land have been damaged, affecting over 1.5 lakh farmers after heavy rain pounded the state in August and September, said sources on Sunday, quoting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. The government has already released Rs 130 crore as compensation to farmers. Another 79,000 agriculturists would receive Rs 52 crore which was ordered to be released on Sunday, the CM told officials.
After a meeting with Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar and eight other senior bureaucrats, Bommai is said to have told them that over the next three weeks, agriculture, revenue and horticulture department officials will conduct joint surveys in rain-affected areas, review crop damage and give feedback to the government. Revenue Minister R Ashoka, Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar and others were present at the meeting.
In all, 24 people have died, and 658 houses damaged, 95 of them partially. 191 cattle heads, sheep and goat are dead. Each of the eight zones in the BBMP limits has been given Rs 25 lakh to immediately attend to the damage caused. He instructed officials to ensure that the roads are given priority. As there are gaping potholes across the city, the BBMP has to erect protective barricades and ensure proper streetlighting to prevent injuries to motorists.
He is said to have requested insurance companies to expedite payments for crop loss. He instructed officials to record the damage, especially to houses, with photographs and to release Rs 1 lakh immediately. Releasing Rs 500 crore to repair roads, Bommai is said to have asked officials to direct PWD and Rural Development departments to restore roads.
Deputy commissioners have Rs 689 crore at their disposal and they should use the funds for rain-related works. If more money is needed, they could send a request to the government immediately, the sources said quoting CM. Bommai noted that the highest damage due to rain has been caused in Bengaluru Urban and Rural, Kolar-Chikkaballapur, Ramanagar and Hassan districts, where 1,674 electric poles and 278 transformers have been damaged.
Poll code delaying succour, says CM
Visiting flood-affected areas in Chikkaballapur earlier on Sunday, CM Basavaraj Bommai said, “The disbursal of compensation amount has been delayed in various places due to continuous rain. Ministers are touring their respective in-charge districts.” “There has been a delay in reaching succour to the affected people as there is an election code of conduct in place due to the Legislative Council polls. We have to seek permission from the Election Commission before announcing any relief. We are planning to write to the EC soon,” he said.