Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has been trying to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the last two months to discuss the Mahadayi water dispute with Goa, was at last able to meet him on Friday with an all- party delegation from the state.
In a memorandum submitted to Mr Modi, he sought financial assistance of Rs. 4702.54 crore from the Centre for drought relief work and in another requested him to release Rs.2,856.72 crore for work done under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). Noting that 139 of 176 taluks were declared drought hit during the last kharif season in Karnataka, the CM said poor rainfall had damaged crop over 35.35 lakh hectares and caused 35 lakh farmers a crop loss of Rs. 17, 193 crore. “It is the sixth consecutive drought in parts of Karnataka and agriculture activity has been badly hampered.
This Rabi season the state experienced a rainfall deficit of 80 per cent,” he explained, recalling that Karnataka had submitted a memorandum to the Union Agriculture Minister in November this year , asking for financial assistance of Rs. 4702.54 crore. Although an inter-ministerial Central team had visited the drought affected taluks early November, the state was still waiting for release of funds under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), he noted.
In addition several taluks of North Karnataka were flooded in September, forcing the state to seek financial assistance of Rs. 386.44 crore to repair the damage. The CM requested the PM to resolve Karnataka’s dispute with Goa over its share of water from the Madadayi river.