Karnataka

Drought situation ‘grim’ as 156 taluks in Karnataka face water crisis

Assessing loss: A Central team visiting a drought-hit area in Yadgir district on February 27.  

The government has described the drought situation in the State as “grim and devastating” as 156 of the total 176 taluks have been reeling under severe water crisis owing to deficient rainfall during kharif and rabi seasons in 2018–19, worsening the condition of farmers.

Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande, Animal Husbandry Minister Venkatarao Nadagouda, and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Friday held a review meeting on drought with a nine-member inter-ministerial Central team headed by Abhilaksh Likhi that visited 14 districts to assess crop damage.

Mr. Deshpande told reporters after the meeting that the government had urged the Centre to immediately release funds as stipulated under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to the State.

Loss estimates

It is estimated that loss owing to natural calamities, including floods/landslips and drought during both kharif and rabi seasons is ₹32,335 crore.

The Centre so far has released ₹949.49 crore as against the NDRF norm of ₹4,460 crore, according to the Minister.

“We have apprised the Central team about non-release of financial assistance from the Centre to the State,” Mr. Deshpande said.

The team, which had interacted with farmers and farm labourers during its visits to villages, would submit a report to the Centre soon, the Minister said.

The State had suffered agricultural crop loss on about 19.46 lakh hectares of land while horticulture crops on 23,313.37 hectares too had dried up during the 2018–19 rabi season. The total estimated loss during rabi was about ₹22,384.47 crore, the Minister said.

Drinking water supply

He said the deputy commissioners have over ₹647 crore at their disposal to take up drought relief works in their respective districts. Over 370 villages were being provided drinking water through 706 tankers and 401 villages through hired private borewells. In urban areas, 181 wards were being provided drinking water through tankers.

Jobs

About 10.68 lakh works have been provided and more than nine crore man-days have been generated till date under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. A total of 19.58 lakh households have been provided employment while 1.37 lakh households have completed 100 days of employment, Mr. Deshpande said.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 6:22:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/drought-situation-grim-as-156-taluks-in-karnataka-face-water-crisis/article26412970.ece

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