KPCC chief urges K'taka Govt to start drought relief works

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Bangalore, Jul 15 (UNI) Stating that as many as 101 taluks in Karnataka are facing drought-like conditions due to severe deficit in rainfall, KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge today urged the State Government to announce a special package for farmers and take up drought relief works immediately.

Addressing newspersons here, he said the monsoon had failed in almost all the regions in the State. ''Following failure of monsoon, sowing has been completed only in 20 lakh hectares of land as against the normal 70 lakh hectares and farmers have suffered heavily as they have lost both seeds and fertilisers,'' he added.

Stating that people living in drought-prone areas were facing acute shortage of drinking water, Mr Kharge asked the Government to ensure supply of water and start drought relief works expeditiously. He also urged the State Government to utilise the Central-assisted Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) for the purpose.

Demanding the setting up of a Special Task Force (STF) to combat the drought-like conditions, the Leader of the Opposition appealed to the Chief Minister to take steps to start fodder banks at various places to ensure regular cattle feed. ''I am also going to write a letter to the Chief Minister on this serious issue and urge him to take up immediate relief measures,'' he added.

He urged the Chief Minister to take measures to keep his promise of supplying free power to the ryots without any condition.

UNI MV GD RL HT1520

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