8 districts hit by floods, 7 reeling under drought
Floods in eight districts and drought in seven have resulted in a situation which will likely reduce foodgrain production in Karnataka by 10 lakh tonnes, according to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
On Friday, after reviewing the situation across the State, he said against the target of sowing in 74 lakh hectares of land, kharif crops had been sown in 68 lakh hectares due to truant monsoon. Parts of the sown crop too had been severely affected by either drought or floods, he said. The State Cabinet, in its next meeting on September 26, would take a call on declaring 66 taluks, which have registered poor rainfall, as drought-hit, he said, and added that the State would estimate its losses and submit a memorandum to seek assistance from the Union government.
Disagreeing with the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s claim that losses due to heavy rain had touched Rs. 5,000 crore, he said a Central team was expected to arrive in the State anytime to assess the losses due to floods, in the wake of the State seeking an assistance of Rs. 266 crore for flood relief operations. The losses due to floods had been estimated at Rs. 426 crore, he said.
The extreme weather has come as a setback to the State’s agriculture, which was on its way to recovery and had put up an impressive foodgrain production of 131 lakh tonnes against the target of 130 lakh tonnes in 2013–14. This was after a disappointing production of 110 lakh tonnes in 2012–13.