KARNATAKA

MLA seeks fresh estimate of rain-related losses

VIRAJPET, AUG. 21. H.D. Basavaraj, Virajpet MLA, on Saturday asked all the heads of government departments to submit fresh estimates of the losses caused by rain in Virajpet taluk, within five days.

He said the statistics submitted to the Secretary, Department of Revenue, on the losses incurred were incorrect.

Speaking at an emergency meeting convened by him here to assess the losses caused by rain, Mr. Basavaraj took the State Government to task for the delay in providing funds to Kodagu to take up relief work. The Government had asked the district administration to utilise the Rs. 1.50 crores under the Calamity Relief Fund.

But the distribution of the funds among the three taluks in the district would leave little for Virajpet, he said.

Inaccurate

He said the details of losses provided by the government departments were inaccurate as the damage was maximum in Virajpet. Asking gram panchayat secretaries to prepare fresh estimates, he said he would take up the issue with the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, for securing more relief to Virajpet taluk.

He instructed the Shirastedar and other officials of the Revenue Department to coordinate with the secretaries of the 36 gram panchayats in the taluk and visit the affected areas to revise the estimate.

Mr. Basavaraj said the tribal people living in the forests were without work owing to rain. The possibilities of setting up gruel centres in tribal colonies should also be explored, he said.

Leave

The MLA instructed the officials of all government departments and gram panchayats not to take leave in the next 20 days. Crop losses and the damages caused to plantations, roads, bridges, houses, cowsheds, and school buildings should be assessed separately, he said.

He urged the Food and Civil Supplies Department to ensure proper supply of foodgrains in fair price shops.

Misused

V.A. Venkatesh, President of the Virajpet taluk panchayat, alleged that the funds meant for drought relief had been misused to construct roads to the houses of some important politicians in the district. He appealed to Mr. Basavaraj to ensure that this would not be repeated. He suggested to the MLA to take up with the Government the issue of amending certain rules to provide compensation to people whose houses had collapsed. Roads in Birunani, Parakatageri, Balele, Gonicoppa, and Hatur areas had been damaged in the rain and they should be repaired immediately, he said. The Virajpet Taluk Panchayat would join hands with the authorities concerned to speed up relief works, he said. Farooq Rahim, President of the Virajpet Town Panchayat, said the losses in the town panchayat limits had been estimated at Rs. 15 lakhs. He sought early release of funds to take up development work.