Rs. 2 lakh for cleaning and fogging villages

Shobha Karandlaje.  

Special Correspondent

It is for protection against mosquito menace, diseases

Slush has damaged roads and water supply system

Rs. 987 crore for repairing roads in Raichur district

BANGALORE: Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Shobha Karandlaje on Tuesday said that each of the 2,869 village panchayats devastated by the floods, would be paid Rs. 2 lakh for taking up cleaning and fogging work. Heaps of slush and garbage had flowed into the villages owing to the floods.

Speaking to presspersons, the Minister announced that the slush and garbage would be removed, and fogging would be carried out to protect residents from mosquito menace and diseases. The exercise would be monitored by the village panchayats. Medicines would also be distributed, she said. The slush had damaged roads, water supply system and the pipelines, she added.

Since the water had been contaminated, clean water would be supplied on a priority. She said that 1,738 works such as lift irrigation and multi-village water supply systems including 1,350 drinking water utilities, 188 bridges and culverts had been damaged.

Raichur’s plight

In Raichur district, which she visited, 875 transformers were not working and 3,500 electric poles had collapsed, and 135 villages had no power supply. Ms. Karandlaje said that Rs. 987 crore had been assured for repairing 19,952 km of road using jelly and mud. The damage to the roads and service utilities had been put at Rs.1,038 crore and a detailed report had been presented to the Centre for relief.

The Minister said that a plan of action to build asphalted roads would be prepared and implemented in the next six months. Funds of the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act would be utilised for paying Rs.15,000 to each person for constructing a house worth Rs. 1 lakh. While Rs. 35,000 would be paid for repairing pucca houses, the person would also get Rs. 15,000 from the MGREGA.

Under the scheme, only 10 per cent of the funds could be used for repairing roads, but the State Government had taken the Union Government’s permission for utilising more funds for the purpose. Even bullock carts could not enter the villages, she said. Toilet construction would also be taken up. Already, the Centre had released Rs. 1,038 crore for various works under the scheme and it had been urged to increase the amount to Rs. 2,500 crore. All the engineers in the department would be pressed into service and if need be works would be outsourced, she said.

Subdued festival

Ms. Karandlaje said that the five-day Talakad festival, commencing from November 16, would be a low-key affair.

Asked about the failure to rescue people within hours of the deluge, she said that it was a new experience and no official could fathom the magnitude of the calamity. Moreover, Ms. Karandlaje, who rescued people in her helicopter, said that she saw change of course of the rivers at some places. The people , over the last 15 years, had built houses in low-lying areas and near the dam sites. Many died due to the collapse of the houses and not due to drowning.