H D Kumaraswamy attacks state government over Karnataka flood relief


BENGALURU: Senior JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Monday slammed the BJP-led state government over flood relief fund in Karnataka.

He criticized the government for its failure to meet the expectations of farmers, who lost their land and livelihood in the floods.

Kumaraswamy specifically mentioned the distressed farmers of Chikkamagaluru district, which saw the devastating floods damaging crops in huge swaths of land and suicide by two farmers.

"Thousands of families are in distress in Chikkamagaluru due to floods. Farmers are committing suicide as they were not getting any relief from the government," he tweeted.

He flayed the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje for not standing with the peasants.

"The Chikkamagaluru MP who should come out in support of the farmers is missing from the area, which shows her lack of concern for them," he alleged.
Chikkamagaluru district made headlines after two farmers Chandre Gowda and Channappa Gowda committed suicide recently.

On Sunday, Kumaraswamy had visited their houses and given a cheque of Rs two lakh to Chandre Gowda's family and Rs one lakh to Channappa Gowda's family.

Later speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy alleged large scale corruption in the distribution of relief money to the flood-affected people.

"People told me that a racket is operating, which takes a 'cut' of Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 from Rs 10,000 given for flood relief to the victims. These are only a few instances”, he said.

“Such a phenomenon is not restricted to Mudigere. We are hearing of similar complaints from elsewhere," he claimed.

On October 4, the Centre had announced the ‘advance release’ of Rs 1,200 crore from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) to Karnataka after taking into account the paucity of funds in its State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).

The former chief minister opined that the Central grant of Rs 1,200 crore was final and no other instalment would be made.

Kumaraswamy added that the Centre sets aside Rs 35,000 crore as a contingency fund for the entire country and it would not be able to release more than Rs 1,200 crore to the State.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had said that this was only the first instalment, while the second one was on the way.

Earlier, the Karnataka government had submitted a report to the Centre claiming that the July-August floods caused loss of around Rs 35,000 crore.

According to the government report, more than 88 persons have lost their lives, still, 10 persons are missing; more than 7 lakh people have been rendered houseless; 1465 rehabilitation centres are sheltering about 4.6 lakh homeless people.

As per the report, 103 taluks in 22 districts have been affected by floods and incessant rains in the past few days, resulting in loss of agriculture and horticulture crops on 7.5 lakh hectares and damaging 75,317 houses.


With inputs from PTI



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