It has been two months since the floods ravaged several districts of north Karnataka and the central government has finally released funds for flood relief. The Union government on Friday released Rs 1,200 crore as interim flood relief to the state.
In late August, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking Rs 8,790.25 crore interim relief; a fourth of the total amount of Rs 35,161 crore the state had requested as 103 taluks in 22 districts were affected by the floods in which 91 people died and seven lakh people have been displaced.
“Keeping in view the severity of flood situation and fund positions in the SDRF accounts of the state of Karnataka, Home Minister Amit Shah has approved advance release of Rs 1,200 crore for Karnataka,” a statement by the Union Home Ministry reads.
On Friday, former Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Dr G Parameshwara had said that the Centre was unlikely to release funds for flood relief and had indicated that there were discrepancies in the assessment made by the state government. In August this year, both the state and the Centre had conducted an assessment on the money required for flood relief. The state government had submitted a memorandum stating that the region would require anywhere between Rs Rs 35,161 crore to Rs 38,451 crore.
The central and state’s assessment were not tallying due to which the Union government had stopped the release of funds, TOI reported.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had visited Belagavi, one of the worst affected districts. During a press interaction, he had admitted that the state government’s treasury is empty. “Where is the money in the treasury?” he had said when asked why the funds were not released for flood relief works. Yediyurappa said that of the 69,381 houses that had collapsed, including those that were partially damaged, compensation has been given to owners of 26,077 houses. He further stated that the state government needs Rs 11,193 crore for flood relief and rehabilitation works in Belagavi alone. However, the state government has only managed to released Rs 867 crore towards compensation for flood victims.