Karnataka, Arunachal, Puducherry to get Rs.842 in relief

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The Centre on Friday approved assistance of Rs.842.7 crore for drought-hit areas of Karnataka and flood-hit areas of Puducherry and Arunachal Pradesh, agriculture ministry officials said.

“The decision was taken by a high-level committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which examined and endorsed the reports of a central team that visited the three states,” a senior official told IANS.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and senior officers of home, finance and agriculture ministries.

Karnataka will get Rs.723.23 crore, Puducherry Rs.35.14 crore and Arunachal Pradesh Rs.84.33 crore.

“The assistance of Rs.84.33 crore for Arunachal includes Rs.18 crore under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme,” the official said.

The agriculture ministry, in its own assessment and reports from states, says that 10 states, including Maharashtra and Karnataka, have declared drought.

More than Rs.10,000 crore has been given in central assistance to the affected states so far.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, reeling under intense heat wave, have both sought central assistance for those hit by drought and water scarcity.

The Andhra Pradesh government has urged the Centre to release Rs.10,000 crore to resolve its rural drinking water problem in the next three years. Telangana has placed a demand of Rs.3,000 crore as drought relief.

The Centre has so far sanctioned Rs.791 crore for Telangana, an official said.

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