Bangalore, July 27, 2013: JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda on Saturday accused the State government of not providing proper information to a Central team of officials which is currently touring various districts to assess damage caused to coconut plantations.
Addressing reporters, he alleged that the officials of the Horticulture department had not taken much interest in providing information about damage to coconut plantations in nine districts, including Tumkur and Hassan. The government should take the team’s visit seriously and assist it in assessing the damage properly, he said.
The team is headed by Union horticulture commissioner Gorakh Singh. It will make appropriate recommendations to the Centre after mapping district-wise extent and intensity of damage, number of coconut growers affected and quantum of assistance required to replace the affected plantations.
Gowda claimed that Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had sent the team following his letter to him, highlighting the plight of coconut growers in the State. The Centre recently gave a Rs 2,275-crore package to Kerala for the same problem. Karnataka too can get a similar package, if proper information is provided to the team, he added.
He also urged the government to submit a memorandum to the Centre on the damage caused due to floods in various parts of the State and demand compensation.
Asked about the party’s candidates for the byelections to Bangalore rural and Mandya parliamentary constituencies, Gowda said: “Ours is too small a party. We are facing the problem of resource crunch. But like any other party, we will also field our candidates.”