Central team apprised of prevailing situation

The overall loss caused by the prevailing drought in Kolar district has been estimated at Rs. 217 crore. According to Deputy Commissioner D.S. Vishwanath, the loss includes damages suffered by agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and other sectors.

At an one-on-one meeting with district-level officials and the Central team which visited several drought-affected places on Tuesday, Mr. Vishwanath apprised the team of the severity of the situation in the district due to a dry spell.

While the district is eligible for Rs. 27 crore under the Calamity Relief Fund, the State Government will seek additional funds from the Union Government to take up relief works, the Deputy Commissioner told reporters after the meeting.

Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer P. Rajendra Cholan and Superintendent of Police Ram Nivas Sepat participated in the meeting.

Complaints

The team, led by Pravesh Sharma, Managing Director, Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium, faced complaints when it visited Harjenahalli.

The villagers complained about lack of drinking water as well as scarcity of fodder for their cattle.

While most of the residents are farmhands, they were jobless due to drought, the villagers said. Muninarayanappa, a villager, said that though he is a job card holder under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), work has not been provided to him under the scheme.

They also complained of slackness in providing health services to villagers. One of the residents showed his child suffering from a disease due to fluoride content in groundwater which level had collapsed to 1,200 ft.

During the interaction, several women alleged that they have to bring fodder for livestock from far away places, including Bangalore, which was a costly affair.