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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