Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has said he is optimistic that the Union Government will provide adequate assistance to the State, which has been severely hit by heavy rain and floods.

Responding to questions from presspersons here on Monday, Mr. Yeddyurappa said Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had seen for themselves the havoc caused by the floods during their aerial survey on Monday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was expected to tour the flood-affected districts on Tuesday.

He said he would also appeal to his counterparts in other States to extend all possible assistance to the State to provide relief and rehabilitate the people affected by the floods. The response to his appeal to social, religious and educational institutions and industrial houses to contribute liberally towards the Government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts had been very favourable and encouraging...

According to him, in response to the Government’s plea, several industrial houses, including JSW and Kalyani Steels, Mysore Citizens’ Forum, Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala, State boards and corporations and government employees had come forward to construct 25,000 houses. “I would also appeal to other public undertakings such as BHEL, BEL, religious institutions such as the Pejawar, Adichunchanagiri and Siddaganga maths, the Art of Living Foundation and educational institutions to extend the same gesture,” he said, adding that the Government wanted to construct two lakh houses for those whose houses had been destroyed in the heavy rain and floods.

The Government would provide land and infrastructure to enable philanthropists to construct houses, he said, adding, “Of course, the Government will continue relief operations in the flood-affected areas, which has been accorded utmost priority.”

Mr. Yeddyurappa said he would be taking out a ‘padayatra’ in Bangalore on Wednesday to raise funds from philanthropists and other donors, which would be used for rehabilitating displaced families. Similar ‘padayatras’ would be held in other cities and towns. Contribution should be made by way of cheques or demand drafts only.

He said the Government had decided to shift villages on the banks of the Krishna and the Cauvery that were prone to flooding. “This proposal has been pending for long and our Government will be taking it up soon,” he said.

He said he was thankful to the Centre for its cooperation and assistance in the rescue and relief operations.

He did not comment on the criticism of the Opposition that the relief effort was not up to the mark. “Let God bless them,” he remarked.

Ministers V.S. Acharya, G. Karunakar Reddy, Shobha Karandlaje, S. Suresh Kumar and H. Halappa, Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh were among those present.

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