Bengaluru: An estimated 40 lakh hectares of agricultural crops and two lakh hectares of horticulture crops have been damaged in Karnataka, where 195 taluks have been declared as drought-hit, State Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said on Tuesday.
A memorandum will be submitted to the Central government seeking relief, in a week’s time, and there is an opportunity to get a total compensation of about Rs 5000 crore to Rs 6000 crore, as per National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rules, he said.
”This year, there is a severe lack of rain across the state. Already 195 taluks have been declared as drought affected. According to estimates, 40 lakh hectares of agricultural crops have been damaged, while 2 lakh hectares of horticulture crops have been damaged. The authorities have been instructed to quickly prepare the memorandum required to be submitted to the Centre regarding the drought taluks,” Gowda said while speaking to reporters.
The work on preparing the memorandum is already 70 per cent complete. There is an opportunity to get a separate compensation for fodder and drinking water, and in the next three days a complete memorandum will be prepared, he said.
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The minister said, ”the Central government officials have promised to come to the state and conduct an inspection as soon as the memorandum is submitted. Therefore, it will be presented in the Cabinet for approval and then would be submitted within this weekend.” Noting that as per the Central drought guidelines, there is severe drought in 161 taluks, while it is partial in 34, the minister said the situation is no different even in the remaining 41 taluks, but, as per the guidelines, drought cannot be declared there.
However, till the end of October, crop survey is allowed to declare drought, he said. ”Thus 195 taluks are not final, and keeping in view the rain situation in October, another taluk will be declared as drought-hit in the second list. Based on the crop survey in the coming days….and there will be another memorandum, which will be submitted to the Centre in this regard.” There is no acute shortage of drinking water in the state at present. There is also no shortage of fodder, he said.
Highlighting that the word ”green drought” has also been included in the memorandum in the context of climate change which is changing beyond imagination these days, Gowda said other than the drought declared taluks, in many taluks rains have not come on time and crops have not been harvested, while some crops were damaged due to untimely rains.
On ”green drought”, the minister said researchers from four agricultural universities and one horticultural university of the state were sent to conduct scientific research in such areas even before submitting a request to the Centre.
”That report will be attached and the memorandum will refer to green drought. Scientific information will also be provided to the officers of the Centre who will come to the state for the survey. This will benefit many farmers,” he added.