Rs 669 cr more central aid to flood-hit Karnataka

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Rs 669 cr more central aid to flood-hit Karnataka

Bengaluru: The Central government has sanctioned an additional Rs 669 crore to flood-hit Karnataka from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) for mitigating the hardships of those affected and rebuilding the infrastructure, an official said on Tuesday.

“The Centre has responded to the state government’s plea for additional funds to restore normalcy in the flood-hit districts in the coastal, central and northwest regions following heavy monsoon rains in August,” a revenue official told IANS here.

The Union government gave the southern state Rs 1,200 crore as interim relief fund in early October as contingency to provide financial help to the flood-hit people and enable the state government rebuild the infrastructure damaged by the flood following heavy and incessant rains across the region during the peak monsoon season.

“The additional funds were cleared by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a committee meeting on Monday in New Delhi in response to the state’s detailed report on the trail of devastation caused by floods and heavy rains in August,” said the official.

The additional funds came days after Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa pleaded for the same with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s two-day visit to Tumakuru and Bengaluru on January 2-3.

“As there was no response from the Centre on the state’s renewed appeal for additional funds to take up more flood relief works and compensation, the Chief Minister had personally appealed to Modi to ensure their early release, which Shah has done,” asserted the official.

Though the state faced consecutive droughts over the last couple of years, the fortnight long floods in two-thirds of the state caused 140 deaths and huge damage to crops besides destroying roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

“The additional funds have been sanctioned, based on the state government’s representation to the NDRF with a detailed report on the cumulative loss, estimated to be about Rs 30,000 crore,” noted the official.

The opposition Congress, however, criticised the Centre for giving “pittance” to the state, which is being ruled by the BJP as in New Delhi.

“Attempts are being made to show that the current allocation of 1,869.85 crore released is in addition to the earlier Rs 1,200 crore, totaling to Rs 3,069 crore. But the reality is, only Rs 669.85 crore has been is released, and not Rs 1,869 crore,” tweeted the state unit of the Congress, refuting the state government’s claims on flood relief received from the Centre.

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