We’ll start cloud seeding: Deshpande

Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande speaking to MNREGA workers at Tungal village on Saturday.

Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande speaking to MNREGA workers at Tungal village on Saturday.  

‘Drought-relief measures initiated before poll code was in place’

“The State government has invited tenders for cloud seeding. Once the tenders are finalised, we will start cloud seeding to attract rain,” Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande said in Belagavi on Saturday. He said technical details were being worked out.

“We initiated drought-relief measures even before the Model Code of Conduct came into place. We have already released ₹700 crore in drought relief to all districts and are supplying water through tankers in 2,999 villages. We have asked officials to ensure drinking water supply at the rate of at least 40 litres per person per day. We have started several hundred cattle shelters to take care of cattle. Officials in affected villages are setting up fodder banks where fodder is stored and sold to farmers are subsidized prices,” he said. There is no dearth of money for drought-relief works, he said.

He said the State government was willing to sign a water agreement with Maharashtra to share water with from the Krishna basin. “However, I urge the Maharashtra government to release water from the Koyna dam on humanitarian grounds, without waiting for a memorandum,” he said.

“Records show that the State has suffered drought for 14 of the last 18 years. We are exploring a permanent solution to this problem. We will try to put in place a comprehensive system that will aim at drought-proofing the State,” he said.

He reviewed drought-relief works in the district later. He inspected MNREGA works in Tungal village. He visited a fodder bank in K. Chandargi village and handed over a bundle of dry fodder to a farmer.

Forest Minister Satish Jarkiholi, Deputy Commissioner R. Vishal, zilla panchayat chief executive officer K.V. Rajendra, MLAs and other leaders were present.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 5:44:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/well-start-cloud-seeding-deshpande/article27175105.ece

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