A 12-member Central team on Monday toured the drought-hit districts of Chickballapur and Tumkur to assess the damage to crops following deficit rainfall.

The State government has declared 123 taluks of 24 districts drought-hit.

One team comprising six officials, headed by P. Sharma, Managing Director, Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium, toured Chickballapur district and interacted with farmers, SHG and NGO representatives, the district Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat. The team would tour drought-hit villages of Kolar district on Tuesday.

Another team led by K. Manohar, Director, Tobacco Board, Chennai, toured Tumkur district and would travel to villages of Chitradurga district on Tuesday. Both teams would return to Bangalore on Tuesday evening.

Officials would hold a meeting with Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and heads of Agriculture, Revenue, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Animal Husbandry and other departments on Wednesday at the State Secretariat.

An-all party delegation led by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda called on the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Union Ministers on May 2 and demanded an interim relief of at least Rs. 1,500 crore to undertake relief measures in drought-hit taluks.

The delegation wanted the Centre to allot three lakh tonnes of rice and 57,200 tonnes of wheat as additional foodgrains for families living below the poverty line. The deficit rainfall has caused crop loss totalling Rs. 5,864 crore.

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