Karnataka seeks Rs 395-cr aid under Calamity Contingency Fund

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 18:34

New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister B S
Yeddiyurappa on Tuesday sought Rs 395 crore in assistance under the
National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) to counter a 40-year
low rainfall in the last two months in his meeting with Union
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar here.
"I have requested the Union minister (Pawar) to provide
us additional grant of Rs 395 crore under the NCCF to provide
farm inputs and subsidy to small and marginal farmers, apart
from the allocation under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF),"
Yeddiyurappa said after the meeting.

Karnataka has declared drought in 20 districts and the
"lowest rainfall in the months of July and August in the last
40 years" has dented pulses, groundnut, soyabean, sugarcane
and coarse cereal crops, Yeddiyurappa said.

The Chief Minister expressed confidence that the Centre
would rise above the party line and help the BJP-ruling state
to mitigate the impact of drought.

"No. According to the Union Minister, he is not bothered
which party one belongs to.... Yesterday he had assured us of
help. Today also he assured us of help," Yeddiyurappa said,
replying to a question if he foresees any injustice to be done
by the Centre to Karnataka because it is being ruled by the
BJP.

He said about 35 lakh hectares has been affected
adversely by either the drought or the lack of sowing.

"Generally in the Kharif season, the target of sowing
(area) is about 72 lakh hectares (LH) in the state. However,
sowing is over only in 53.14 LH. Moreover, according to our
assessment, crops in 16 LH have been affected and sowing has
not taken place in about 19 LH of land," Yeddiyurappa said.

"So 35 LH is either not sown or drought-affected," he
added after submitting a memorandum on the drought situation
in the state to the Union Agriculture Minister.
Since July the districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur,
Koppal, Bijapur of Karnataka have recored lowest rainfall in
the last 30-40 years, and the deficiency level touched up to
90 per cent of the usual rains, the Chief Minister informed.

The state has pegged crop losses in rain-fed areas at Rs
700.20 crore and funds required for mitigation of drinking
water scarcity at Rs 171.50 crore.

As part of its contingency plan, the state has proposed
to take up rural water supply at an estimated cost of Rs 163
crore, urban water supply at Rs 65 crore and the mobilisation
of fodder and supply of mini kit at Rs 53.17 crore.

Karnataka has experienced drought or drought-like
situation in some parts during the last seven out of nine
years since 2001.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 18:34

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