Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s promise to relocate all flood-prone villages in the State may not be fulfilled before the March 2010 deadline owing to non-availability of land for the purpose.
The State Government has decided to relocate 216 flood-prone villages in Belgaum division comprising of seven districts -- Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Uttara Kannada. These villages get flooded every time the Krishna and its tributaries are in spate.
Of the 216 villages, 82 villages will be relocated fully and 134 partially.
According to Regional Commissioner C.M. Shirol here on Tuesday, the Government has decided to relocate six villages fully and 27 partially in Belgaum district, affecting 6,333 families. In Bagalkot district, 48 villages will be relocated fully and 45 partially, affecting 15,858 families; Bijapur - six villages will be relocated fully and 23 partially (2,645 families); Dharwad - two villages fully and 11 villages partially (456 families); Gadag - 15 villages fully (3,351 families); Haveri - four villages fully, 28 villages partially (2,270 families) and in Uttara Kannada district one village will be relocated fully, affecting 39 families.
Mr. Shirol said that about 1,000 acres of land was required to relocate all the villages. However, only 157 acres of land is readily available with the Government.
The Government, which has formed district-level committees for implementing relief and rehabilitation measures, needs to acquire land from private parties for relocating the villages. And, this is likely to cause delays, Mr. Shirol said that the Government was committed to providing permanent solution to problem. Several philanthropists have come forward to construct houses for these affected families. The Government would have to acquire land and create basic infrastructure, he said.
As many as 127 people had died in the floods in the division. The death of livestock has been put at 2,473. As many as 2,13,280 families have been affected by the floods. The loss to standing crops on 9,28,914 hectares in the division has been estimated at Rs. 1,618.97 crore. A total of 2,87,986 houses have been damaged in the floods.
Mr. Shirol said that 2,44,646 people were taking shelter in 618 gruel centres across the division. So far, the Government has spent Rs. 256.92 crore for providing relief and compensation to the affected people.
Compensation for farmers was being paid in the form of input subsidy, according to the guidelines of the Natural Calamity Relief Fund -- Rs. 2,000 a hectare in rain-fed areas, Rs. 4,000 a hectare in irrigated belt and Rs. 6,000 a hectare for perennial crops.