K'taka to press Centre for Rs 2250 cr drought-relief package

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Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda
Bangalore, Apr 19: An all-party meeting in Karnataka decided to send a delegation to the Centre to press for releasing at least Rs 2,250 crore from National Calamity Contingency Fund towards drought-relief measures in the State.

Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda along with key Cabinet colleagues held a five-hour meeting with opposition leaders and discussed issues to be taken up with the Central government during the all-party delegation visit in the last week of this month.

Gowda said the State government had already submitted a memorandum to the Central Government seeking Rs 2,606 crore towards drought-relief measures but it has released only Rs 187 crore so for. "Now we are going to submit a revised memorandum (to the Centre). It (assistance to be sought from the Centre on drought relief works) may go up to Rs 4,500 crore", he told reporters after the marathon meeting.

Gowda said the government, which has declared 123 taluks in 24 districts as drought-hit, expects the Centre to "come to our rescue" and release at least 50 per cent of the assistance (Rs 2,250 crore of the Rs 4,500 crore estimated loss). The Chief Minister said officials, Ministers and people's representatives have been barred from undertaking foreign trips in the next two months, while there is a ban on holding "big functions" because of the drought situation in the State.

Earlier, a meeting of state unit office bearers, presidents and general secretaries of district units and frontal organisations held here to discuss the drought situation decided to draft party functionaries to study drought relief works being implemented by its government and report to the government on its success or shortcomings.

PTI

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