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Karnataka says Centre playing politics on drought relief

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on May 09, 2019 Published on May 09, 2019

The Karnataka government has accused the Centre of playing politics over drought relief.

Briefing reporters after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said there was wide disparity in the allocation of relief funds. He said Karnataka, which is facing the worst drought situation, has got a “paltry sum” while Maharashtra got the maximum.

“In all, Maharashtra got ₹4,700 crore, while Karnataka got only ₹949 crore,” he said.

NREGA dues

Similarly, the Minister said, Karnataka has received less funds under the rural jobs scheme NREGA. “The Centre is yet to release dues to the tune of ₹1,697 crore. The State government has spent on its own. This scheme is meant for the economically weaker sections in rural areas. The Centre has not released our dues as mandated under the NREGA Act,” he said.

“The Centre is not supporting the State government in relief works. Of the ₹1,697 crore that is yet to come from the Centre, ₹856 crore is pending for the past three years,” he added.

Drought relief measures

The Minister said that as the model code of conduct for polls is in place, today’s Cabinet just discussed routine administrative matters but allocated more funds for supply of drinking water, and fodder for animals and to ensure jobs for people to prevent mass migration.

Byre Gowda said the government has decided to release ₹324 crore to take up relief works in drought-hit districts.

“For the year, the government plans to spend ₹2,800 crore on drinking water projects,” he said.

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Published on May 09, 2019
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