Special Correspondent

Yeddyurappa to lead high-level team to Delhi

Home Minister, officials call on Governor

Rs. 5 crore each for six flood-affected districts

Bangalore: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will lead a high-level delegation to impress upon the Union Government to immediately provide special assistance to enable the State to provide relief to the rain-affected victims and restoration of public properties which have been damaged in the torrential rains in the last one week.

Sources told The Hindu that the State Cabinet discussed at length the heavy rains in six districts and the damage caused to lives and properties. Directions have been issued to the Deputy Commissioners to survey all the rain-affected areas and submit a report to the Government. The reports will be collated to prepare a detailed memorandum that will be made over to the Union Government.

In another development, Home Minister V.S. Acharya, along with two top officials of the Chief Minister’s secretariat, called on Governor, H.R. Bhardwaj and explained the steps taken by the Government in tackling floods in six districts apart from the maintaining law and order particularly in Mysore which witnessed communal clashes twice in four months.

The Home Minister, however, refrained from explaining the Government’s stand on the lands acquired for a housing scheme of the Karnataka Housing Board at Siddlaghatta in Chickaballapur district nor did the Governor seek any explanation on the Government’s stand. The two Opposition parties—Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) — had submitted a memorandum to the Governor on Thursday. The Congress and the JD (S) demanded that the case be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation or the State Lokayukta.

It is said the Governor will write to the Chief Minister on the memorandum made over to him by the parties and seek the latter’s views on the same. The Governor, it is said, also made it clear that he would not like to don the role of an activist and issue directions to an elected government.

The State Cabinet is understood to have approved Rs. 5 crore each to the six flood-affected districts of Dakshina Kannada,, Udupi, Shimoga, Kodagu, Belgaum and Haveri. The Department of Agriculture also presented a video report of rain damage.

The Chief Minister reportedly directed the Ministers in-charge of the districts concerned to immediately tour the affected regions and supervise relief works. Directions have been issued to the Deputy Commissioners to carry out relief works on a war-footing. According to a report placed before the Cabinet, nearly 114 of the 176 taluks of the State have received heavy rain over the past fortnight.

The Cabinet approved the enhancement of the salaries of the Chairman and members of the Karnataka Public Service Commission.

While the Chairman’s salary has been increased to Rs. 90,000 a month, that of the members has been raised to Rs 80,000.

Mr. Yeddyurappa reportedly directed Minister for Agriculture S.A. Ravindranath, who is also the district in-charge minister of Davanagere, to immediately tour Haveri and Davanagere districts and ensure the availability of all varieties of chemical fertilizers.