Karnataka approaches SC against Centre seeking release of NDRF grants to tackle drought

06:00 PM Mar 23, 2024 | PTI |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said the state government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding a direction to the Centre to immediately release grants under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to the state, which is reeling under acute drought.


Accusing the Centre of sitting on Karnataka’s pleas for release of funds though there is a severe drought, he said the state government was compelled to approach the apex court.

“Today the Karnataka government filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the Centre after waiting for five months. Since there is vacation for a week in the Supreme Court, we did not get the endorsement. We expect it next week,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

The petition was filed under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution to give directions to the Government of India to release NDR Funds immediately, which was supposed to be released by the Centre according to law, he explained.

“We have declared drought in 223 Taluks out of 236 Taluks in the state. We evaluated four times. Agricultural crops have been lost in an area of 48 lakh hectares. We sent three memoranda to the Centre in a row but we did not get even a single penny so far,” the chief minister alleged.


In October last year, a Central team came to the state and conducted an inspection and submitted an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) report to the union government. Within a month of submitting the report, the Centre has to give compensation to the state, Siddaramaiah said.

He added that when the union government did not respond to the memorandum despite the Central team’s report, Karnataka Revenue Minister Krishnabyre Gowda went to Delhi but did not get an opportunity to meet the Central Minister.

“Later, on December 20, I and Krishnabyre Gowda again went to Delhi and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and made a request. However, we were not compensated. Later, I, personally, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bengaluru and made a request. However, no solution was found,” Siddaramaiah charged.

The chief minister said the state government released Rs 650 crore from our treasury and gave Rs 2,000 each to 33.44 lakh farmers considering the problems faced by them. We have successfully dealt with drought situation in the state, he said.


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