Drought teams to get the real picture

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Come Saturday, the state government will once again seek adequate central assistance to tackle the drought, during a meeting with the two Central Study teams, which are touring drought-hit districts to make a spot assessment of the situation.

The chief secretary will apprise the Central teams on the measures initiated by the government, after sharing a note on the drought status.

The State report has highlighted that Karnataka has declared 142 taluks as drought hit and a revised fund of Rs 11,489 crore has been sought from the Centre.

However, the status report on the various sectors affected by deficit rains and drought is alarming.

The drought may leave 759 villages and 213 towns thirsty in the state, which has compelled the government to run a fleet 1,500 tankers to supply drinking water. Of the 3,524 minor tanks, only 40 are fully filled.

The power purchase bill due to increased use of irrigation pump sets and drinking water supply installations stands at Rs 2,293 crore.

The state has urged the Centre to provide more funds for power purchase or allot more power from the Central grid.

The parched lands have taken a toll on agriculture too. The Kharif season which accounts for 70 per cent of the annual food grain production has taken a severe blow as sowing is done only across 47.06 lakh hectares against a targeted 74.7 lakh hectares, which has already caused a loss of Rs 1,768 crore.

The horticulture crops grown across four lakh hectares are affected, which simply means potato, onion, chillies, tomato and seasonal flowers and perennial fruits will be scarce.

Central team STUDies situation IN Tumkur

A six member central team headed by K. Manohar, member of the Central Tobacco Board, has assured farmers at Tariyur lake that they would bring to the notice of the government the need to increase wages of those working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme. The team also observed that the water available at Ankapura was not safe for drinking.

Deputy Commissioner of Tumkur R.K. Raju assured the villagers that filtered water would be provided to them.

The team later visited Gowdanerlekere in Madhugiri taluk and took stock of the situation following the failure of the groundnut crop.

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