Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said the extent of the ongoing floods was more than it was last year even as he assured victims that there was no paucity of funds to deal with the situation.
Preliminary estimates by the government suggest crop loss in around 6.3 lakh hectare of cultivated land due to flooding in Rivers Bhima, Krishna and their tributaries during the monsoon season.
“We have assessed the extent of flood loss following the aerial survey. Compared to last year, extent of flooding is more,” Yediyurappa told reporters. The floods in 2019, which affected many districts in North Karnataka, was one of the worst in hundred years.
The state has sought assistance from centre for the welfare of victims, he said, adding that there were no financial constraints for relief and rehabilitation.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Yediyurappa has sought a special package of Rs 10,000 crore with the government having estimated losses exceeding Rs 21,500 crore in three spells of extreme rainfall in August, September and October.
In the first spell of floods between August 1 to September 15, Karnataka suffered losses to the tune of Rs 9,441 crore. The next spell in the second fortnight of September caused damages worth Rs 5,668 crore. Initial rough estimates of damage and loss suffered due to heavy rains and extensive flooding which started on October 10 is about Rs 6,500 crore, Yediyurappa said.
The CM also made a case for new norms of the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as the present ones are “grossly insufficient to give a modicum of relief to the affected farmers and households,” he said.
Karnataka’s relief measures are way more than what is prescribed under NDRF, Yediyurappa poiinted out. “The state has to bear this huge burden of additional relief for both the 2019 floods and the present floods,” he said, adding that the state was “hard pressed” in providing relief since a significant portion of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) went towards Covid-19 containment.
The current flods have resulted in 10 deaths and damages to 12,700 houses, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said. “Crop loss is reported in 6.3 lakh hectare land. Immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 is being released to all affected families,” he added.