Karnataka seeks Rs 3,000-cr flood relief

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa addresses a press conference in Bengaluru on Aug 10, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Bengaluru, Aug 10 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Saturday sought Rs 3,000-crore aid from the central government for relief works in the state’s 14 flood-hit districts in the northwest and coastal regions, battered by heavy monsoon rains and strong surface winds since August 1.

“I sought Rs 3,000-crore central aid for relief works as heavy monsoon rains and floods in the state’s 14 districts across the northwest, central and coastal regions have caused 24 deaths and damaged about 14,000 houses during the last 10 days,” Yediyurappa told reporters.

The state government has released Rs 100 crore in the last 2-3 days for rescue and relief operations in the affected districts.

After reviewing the situation in the affected districts, where rains continued unabated, the Chief Minister said floods and landslides claimed 24 lives, while 2,35,105 people were evacuated from the areas and moved to safety.

“In all, 1,57,498 people taking shelter at 624 relief camps in the affected areas are given drinking water, food, medicines, clothes, blankets and other facilities to stay till normalcy returns and their damaged houses were repaired,” said Yediyurappa.

Admitting that the flood situation in the affected districts was serious due to incessant rains, the Chief Minister said public property, including roads, highways, state-run buildings, electric poles, transformers and other infrastructure, was damaged.

“The length of the roads and highways damaged is 2,450km and the loss is estimated to be Rs 1,427 crore, as 530 bridges and 56 public buildings were also affected,” Yediyurappa said.

Lamenting that that 3,22, 448 hectares of agricultural lands were damaged due to waterlogging or flood waters entering their fields with crops, Yediyurappa said farmers would be compensated under the state and central farm insurance scheme.

“Though 44,013 cattle heads were also evacuated and provided shelter, 222 of livestock perished in the floods,” said Yediyurappa.

The 14 affected districts are Bagalkot, Belagavi, Bijapur (Vijayapura), Chikkmagaluru, Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad, Gadag, Hassan, Hubballi, Kodagu, Mysore, Shivammoga, Udupi and Uttar Kannada.

Stating that heavy rains in the neighbouring Maharashtra since a week caused flood in the state’s northern region and landslides in the Malnad area, the Chief Minister said he had assessed the damage by aerial survey of the region and visiting the affected districts.

“I am visiting Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Mysuru and Udupi on Sunday for spot assessment of the damage caused by torrential rains and flooding,” he added.

Thanking the Central government for its financial assistance, Yediyurappa said 20 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 11 of the Army, 5 of the Navy, 4 choppers from the Air Force, police and the fire and emergency services were involved in the rescue and relief works.

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited flood-hit Belagavi and Bagalkot districts and took stock of rescue and relief works. She is a Rajya Sabha member from the southern state.

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