KCR meets Modi, seeks more funds for drought relief

New Delhi/Hyderabad, May 10 (IANS) Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and sought the Centre’s liberal assistance to tackle drought in the state.

During the one-and-half-hour-long meeting in New Delhi, the chief minister told the Prime Minister that the state had sought an assistance of Rs.3,064 crore from the Centre for drought relief measures but the Centre had so far released only Rs.712 crore.

He urged the prime minister to release the remaining funds immediately so that relief works could be taken up in the affected areas.

He outlined the immediate and long-term measures undertaken by the state government to mitigate the drought situation and sought the Centre’s assistance for both.

According to a statement from the chief minister’s office in Hyderabad, KCR told Modi that the state ensured drinking water supply, provided mid-day meals to students, input subsidy to farmers and fodder to cattle.

KCR said the state had recorded 14 percent deficit rainfall. A total of 231 ‘mandals’ in seven districts have been declared drought-affected.

The chief minister said agriculture crops over 13.52 lakh hectares and horticulture crops over 23,700 hectares were damaged. As many as 21.78 lakh farmers were affected.

The chief minister informed the prime minister that the government has taken up Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha as permanent solutions to face drought and deficit rainfall.

Under Mission Kakatiya, restoration of 46,000 tanks have been taken up while Mission Bhagiratha is aimed at providing drinking water through pipelines to every household.

KCR said the state was also building irrigation projects on Godavari and Krishna to use its share of waters in the two rivers. He said reservoirs and barrages were being built at 38 places to ensure availability of water to farmers.

The chief minister noted that Telangana received only the first installment of funds for the development of backward areas under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. He sought release of the remaining funds so that they can be used for programmes like Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh and top officials were present during the meeting. KCR was accompanied by Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and Revenue Secretary B.R. Meena.

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