Rs. 2,400 crore drought relief sought, says Deshpande

‘We will send further details once joint survey is completed’

The State government has sought Rs. 2,400 crore from the Centre as drought relief, Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande told presspersons in Chandaragi village in Belagavi district on Tuesday. He said that the State government had identified 156 taluks as drought-hit in the kharif season and 100 taluks in the rabi season. “We have already sent a request to the Union government. We will send further details once the joint survey by the Revenue, the Agriculture and the Horticulture officials is completed,” Mr. Deshpande said. He spoke to some farmers in Chandaragi village. They said that they had lost both kharif and rabi crops, but had not received any relief from either the State government or the Centre under the crop insurance scheme.

Farmer Shivappa Navarakki complained that they were suffering so much that they had no option but to migrate. Mr. Deshpande asked him not to take that extreme step and asked zilla panchayat officials to start MGNREGA works in all the affected villages to retain workers in their native places. Some farmers urged the Minister to complete the Ramalingeshwar Lift Iirrigation project to provide water to their crops.

They said that they were not getting water from the Veerabhadreshwar Lift Irrigation project as they were in the tail-end of the canals. Some urged the government to fill the lake in their village to push up the groundwater level and to ensure supply of drinking water. The visit of the team, including Mr. Deshpande and Sugar Minister R.B. Timmapur, was cut short as it was getting dark. They took a detour and went to the Saundatti Yallamma temple after visiting Chandaragi village. Though officials had made arrangements in Gudagoppa, Sidnal, Halki, Tadaslur and Gundluru villages, the team could not visit them. Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer R. Ramachandran and other officers were present.

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