Bengaluru, Sep 1: Describing the drought situation in the state as the "worst" in 40 years, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramamiah has asked officials to take it as a "challenge".
He has also warned strict action against negligent officials. Addressing the Conference of Regional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers of Zilla Panchayats here, he directed that officials and staff should not be sanctioned long leave, unless it is an emergency.
He has also asked them to stop sending officials and staff on training.
Making it clear that there is no shortage of funds, he directed the officials to take all necessary steps to supply drinking water.
Pointing out that there is drought situation in 135 of 176 taluks, he asked officials to take steps to prevent villagers and farmers from migrating by providing them job opportunities under the Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Scheme.
He also stressed on the importance of setting up fodder banks and cow sheds and directed the Chief Secretary to take action against taluk officials who failed in taking steps.
Siddaramaiah advised officials to take precautionary steps to control spread of epidemics during drought.
Expressing concern over farmer suicide incidents reaching the 400 mark till now this year from 58 in 2013-14 and 48 in 2014-15, he said exorbitant loans and private money lenders are the main reason for this, and asked officials to implement steps taken by the government to prevent such incidents.