With standing crops on 15 lakh hectares destroyed in heavy rains and floods in this year’s monsoon in north and south Karnataka, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah has demanded that the government provide compensation to farmers and the poor who have lost their crops and houses.
He has urged the State government to take an all-party delegation to the Centre to seek funds for undertaking relief and repair work. The government should also convene a legislature session to discuss the problems faced by the flood-affected people, he said.
In a letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the government had not paid compensation to more than one lakh house owners whose houses were destroyed in last year’s rains. Though 2.47 lakh houses were destroyed in 2019, compensation of ₹5 lakh was paid to some of the 1.24 lakh house owners. Some house owners received just ₹1 lakh, he claimed.
“This year’s monsoon destroyed crops, houses and public infrastructure even more. While crops on 15 lakh hectares were destroyed in 2020, about 10 lakh hectares was affected in 2019. The government has decided to borrow ₹90,000 crore from various sources, but has not provided relief to flood victims,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
The Congress leader, who toured Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Bagalkot and other rain-devastated districts a few days ago, said the sowing of crops this year had exceeded the target on more than 30% of the targeted area, but the floods had destroyed the crops. Crops such as groundnut, maize, jowar, paddy, onion, oilseeds, and commercial crops such as coffee and cotton were destroyed.
Legislators and Ministers have not been responding to the grievances of the flood victims, choosing instead to campaign for bypolls, he said.