The monsoon this year caused a damage to the tune of ₹3,600 crore to the crops, houses and infrastructure in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Monday. He said the State would claim ₹1,645 crore from the Centre under the National Disaster Relief Fund.
“More than 10.06-lakh hectare of agricultural land and 42,048 houses were damaged in the flood. We had earlier estimated that the crop loss occurred in 5.8 lakh hectares but according to a broader estimate now, the loss happened in 10.06 lakh hectares till Sunday. We have estimated that ₹1,550 crore will be required for the crop loss,” Bommai told the Karnataka Assembly.
Bommai was participating in the discussion on the floods this year and the measures taken by the government. He said till Sunday, compensation to the tune of ₹377.44 crore was deposited into the bank accounts of 3.26 lakh farmers through direct benefit transfer.
Read: Task force soon to tackle flooding in Bengaluru: Karnataka CM Bommai
“We are depositing the money as the details are uploaded in the government data. We are giving compensation to the farmers within the season, which is a record. We have formulated a system to ensure that there is no dearth of funds,” the Chief Minister said.
Bommai said the State government has estimated to pay ₹850 crore for the damage to 42,048 houses due to the monsoon this year. Already, ₹3,104.74 crore has been released for the damage to the houses in three years since 2019, Bommai said.
He added: “A sum of ₹1, 527 crore will be required for the completition of houses, which we will release based on the progress in the construction of houses.” “The money we immediately require to pay compensation is ₹1,550 crore for crop loss, ₹850 crore for damage to the houses, and ₹1,200 crore for damage to the infrastructure,” the Chief Minister said.
“We have given a memorandum (to the Centre) with an estimate of ₹7,700 crore earlier and now ₹4,400 crore. This way, we are claiming a compensation of ₹1,645 crore under the National Disaster Relief Fund,” he added.
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Bommai assured the House that the government would release funds making sure no one faces problems. Pointing out that this year there was another major challenge of landslides in various parts of the State, he said of the many reasons, some were caused by human beings.
“When I went to Bhatkal I realised that due to extensive mining of a hill for laterite rock, the landslide occurred. If you mine half of the hill, how it will stand for long. We need to stop such a practice as it causes loss to human lives, and the environment. I have directed the officials to stop it immediately,” Bommai said.
The Chief Minister told the Assembly that the State government has tied up with a few organisations to stop landslide due to the seismic activities. “The State government has rushed to the rescue of people and responded to their woes. We have offered relief to the people. We are taking up the rehabilitation of people affected by floods and landslide,” he said.
However, the Opposition leader Siddaramaiah said the government did not address the issues raised by him especially on climate change. He disagreed with the government data that the cross loss has happened in 10.06 lakh hectares.
He claimed that the crops in 18 lakh hectares were damaged. The Chief Minister refuted the claim. Siddaramaiah raised also the issue of multi-storey apartments on the stormwater drains and sought to know who gave licence to such a massive structure to come up on the stormwater drains in Bengaluru. He said razing of 653 structures encroaching on stormwater drain would have prevented the floods.
Bommai said from 2017 to 2019, 1,502 encroachments were removed. The present government did not clear it because of stay in the High Court. He said if the investigation is conducted, it would reveal who and when the licence was granted. In reply, Siddaramaiah said he has no objection to the investigation.