Patil promises assistance for flood relief to State govt

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Bangalore, Sep 23 (UNI) Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who held a review meeting on last week's flood devastation in 14 districts of North Karnataka today assured all help from the Centre to the State government for taking up relief and rehabilitation.

After the meeting attended by Union Minister of State for Home Radhika Selvi, who had gone on an aerial survey of some of the affected districts this morning, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and other top officials, Mr Patil told newspersons that Karnataka was badly hit by the heavy rains and floods this year and assured all assistance from the Centre to take up the relief works.

Mr Patil said ''We are awaiting a detailed report on the extent of damage from the State government and on what kind of relief it wants. We will definitely look into the demands of the State and help the people, who had been affected by the floods.'' Earlier, in the morning the Central team led by Ms Selvi conducted an aerial survey of flood battered districts of Dharwad, Gadag and Bagalkot today.

The team went on the trip on Air Force helicopters and witnessed inundated villages, major roads that were washed away and extensive damages caused by torrential rains and floods that hit ten districts of North Karnataka last week.

Mr Patil was given a presentation by Karnataka officials on the flood situation in the state.

Revenue Department Principal Secretary S M Jamadar said the extent of damage could be at Rs 1000 crore and the estimation work of the actual loss was being carried out and would be sent to the Centre in the next few days. So far 41 people had lost their lives and 368 cattle heads had perished in the rains and floods in the last one week, he added.

Mr Jamadar said a total of 213 villages had been hit by flood in the 14 districts, while affecting the standing crops in 2.7 lakh hectares.

Meanwhile leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly N Dharam Singh submitted a memorandum to Mr Patil urging him to ensure maximum assistance to the State without waiting for any formal report.

UNI

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