Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar directed the Deputy Commissioners to disburse compensation to small and marginal farmers who lost their crop during the recent drought and Rs. 232 crore had already been released for it.

Briefing mediapersons on the decisions taken at the conference of Deputy Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers of the zilla panchayats, presided over by Mr. Shettar, he said that amount had been released to the tahsildars by the Deputy Commissionerss, but it had not reached farmers. Teams of officers from the departments of Agriculture, Horticulture and Revenue had been constituted to prepare the list of beneficiaries.

The compensation would first be disbursed in Bangalore Rural, Chitradurga, Bidar, Gulbarga, Mysore, Chickballapur, Yadgir, Chikmagalur, Davangere, Dharwad, Mandya, Raichur, Bellary and Bijapur districts. It would be disbursed in other districts after some time. All the districts had taken funds released to their personal deposit account (PD account), except in Kolar, and they would start disbursement of compensation immediately.

Mr. Bommai said the survey of damage owing to drought had been carried out in Bijapur, Bellary, Mysore, Raichur and Mandya districts. He said that Mr. Shettar directed the officials concerned to release Bhagyalakshmi bonds and funds under Sandhya Suraksha scheme. He told Revenue Department officials to streamline Nemmadi programme. Around 10,000 Bhagyalakshmi bonds pending in three districts, including Bijapur, should be issued immediately.

Mr. Shettar also wanted the officials to expedite drinking water supply both under the Union and State government programmes on a war-footing, so that there should be no scarcity of water the next summer. The recent drought could provide enough inputs into the areas which needed urgent attention, he added.

Job scheme

The Chief Minister instructed the officials to spend Rs. 500 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in the next six months in the departments of agriculture, horticulture and sericulture and provide jobs to villagers. Under both the central and State Suvarna Grama Sadak Yojanas, road works should be taken up in right earnest. He told the officers to invite tenders to build 30 km of road in each Assembly constituencies under PMRGY and proposals had been received under the Sstate sector, which should be started immediately.A task force comprising officials from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Forest, Public Works Department and headed by the Deputy Commissioners would go into licences for starting crushers after identifying safe zones in the districts.

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