KARNATAKA

State Government slammed for laxity in providing relief

Janata Dal (U) President seeks substantial relief for flood-affected farmers

Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: The former Union Minister and Convener of the National Democratic Alliance, George Fernandes, on Friday slammed the Union and State Governments for their lack of urgency in providing relief to the people affected by floods.

He urged the Government and the bureaucracy to rise to the occasion and take up relief operations on a war-footing.

Speaking to presspersons after visiting the flood-affected areas in Hire Mannur village in Afsalpur taluk in Gulbarga district, Mr. Fernandes said the shoddy relief operations in the tsunami-hit areas should not be repeated in the flood-hit areas.

He alleged that most of the promises made to the tsunami-hit areas have remained unfulfilled.

Coming down heavily on the compensation proposed in the rules and regulations of the Natural Calamity Fund (NCF) for farmers who lost their standing crops, Mr. Fernandes said that according to his information, the farmers who had lost their crops due to the floods are entitled to get only Rs. 500 a hectare as compensation and said the meagre compensation proposed to be paid to the farmers is like adding insult to injury.

He said the compensation should be substantial to ensure that the farmers did not end up as losers in this hour of crisis

Mr. Fernandes said that he will be happy if the former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah joins the Janata Dal (United) and makes it a powerful political party in the State. "But, as of now, I see him [Mr. Siddaramaiah] not moving in any direction," he said.

Referring to the Alpasankhyataru, Hindulidavaru mattu Dalitaru (AHIND) movement led by Mr. Siddaramaiah, he said that he fully supported the consolidation of the Dalits, minorities and backward classes, but it should remain apolitical and should not be used for the benefit of any individual.

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