Karnataka CM reviews rain preparedness, asks officials to take precautionary measures

Bengaluru, May 23 (PTI) With Karnataka expecting above normal monsoon rains, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday directed district administrations to take necessary precautionary measures to tackle the situation arising due to heavy rains, and asked them to ensure preparedness for sowing and other agricultural activities to be taken up by farmers.

The CM and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar held a meeting through video conferencing with Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and CEOs of Zilla Panchayats of all districts to review the monsoon preparations besides the drought relief activities so far.

“Pre-monsoon showers in May have been above normal, at some places it is 40 percent and in some it is 50 or 60 per cent, also sowing has begun in some districts. According to the weather forecast by the met department the monsoon rains will be above normal this time. There are chances of increased rainfall in some places,” Siddaramaiah said.

Addressing reporters after the video conferencing, he said in the wake of flooding caused by rains the district administrations should be prepared to cope with the situation by taking all the necessary measures.

Officials have been instructed to take up pre monsoon preparations like dredging, removal of obstructions for the flow of water to tanks, rivers and other water bodies, the CM said adding all precautionary measures should be taken up at places prone to flooding.

As the sowing season commences, authorities have been asked to ensure that there is no shortage in supply of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides across the state.

Regular kharif sowing will start from June across the state in about 80 lakh hectare.

“District level officials have been warned that they will be held responsible in case of any lapses or negligence, and appropriate action will be taken against them,” he added.

Regarding the drought relief to affected farmers, Siddaramaiah said his government has provided Rs 2,000 each to about 34 lakh farmers, and the Rs 3,454 crore National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) funds from the Centre has also been distributed to the peasants.

“Instructions have been given to Deputy Commissioners of all the districts that if there are any issues in distribution of relief with regards to verification in some places, it has to be resolved and the process should be completed soon.”

Karnataka has declared 223 out of 240 taluks as drought-hit and 196 of them were categorised as severely affected.

Amid reports of Cholera cases due to consumption of contaminated water in Mysuru, the CM said directions have been given to the DCs across the state to ensure supply of clean drinking water, and to supply water after testing.

“At two places in Mysuru, there are reports of Cholera, one in my own constituency’s (Varuna) Tagadur , there has not been any death there. But in neighbouring Chamundeshwari segment’s K Salundi village one person has died due to cholera. Our district in-charge Minister H C Mahadevappa has visited the village and I also spoke to officials. Forty people fell ill and they were provided treatment… there is no danger to life.”

Around Rs 826 crore is available with DCs and Tahsildars in the state, and there should not be any problem for supplying drinking water and also fodder for cattles, he said, adding that, “if necessary new borewells should be dug.”

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