K’taka govt forms four cabinet sub-committees on drought

Prime News, State, (Bengaluru), November 24:-The Karnataka government on Friday said it has decided to constitute four cabinet sub-committees of senior ministers for each revenue division to ensure effective implementation of drought mitigation measures.

The state government has notified 100 taluks of 24 districts as drought affected.

“To ensure effective implementation of drought mitigation measures and to review drought mitigation works taken up by Deputy Commissioners, the government will constitute four cabinet sub-committees, comprising senior ministers, for each revenue division,” Revenue Minister R V Deshpande said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said a senior officer of the rank of secretary or principal secretary would work as the coordinating officer in the cabinet sub-committees.

The committees would tour drought affected districts and hold meetings with all concerned and guide the Deputy Commissioners in drought relief and mitigation measures, the minister added.

Noting that the dry spell was continuing in the state, ‘reeling under 49 per cent rain deficiency’ in the rabi season, he said that the government’s response to mitigate the impact of drought has been mainly on employment generation, provision of drinking water and fodder availability.

He said sufficient funds -Rs 220 crore – were available with Deputy Commissioners to take up drought mitigation works.

Apart from this, Rs 50 lakh (united fund) has been approved from the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department to each drought affected taluk to take up drinking water related works, the minister said.

As of now drinking water was being supplied through tankers to 197 villages in 13 districts, officials said, adding that the situation was likely to exacerbate in the coming days and steps were being taken to respond to it.

Referring to drought and floods during the Kharif season of 2018, Deshpande said a 10 member inter-ministerial central team extensively toured 13 drought affected districts from November 17 to 19.

“The team is expected to submit its report by the end of this month and we are confident that the state will receive funds through NDRF in a short time,” the minister said.

Deshpande also said as it was found that fodder was going to neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh Maharashtra and Goa. The cabinet sub-committee recently decided to ban movement of fodder to other states up to May 31, 2019.

The government anticipates a “problem” in the Rabi season also as the sowing acreage has fallen by about eight lakh hectares, compared to last year.

Officials said that the targeted area for rabi sowing was 31.80 lakh hectares. Till November 16, sowing was done in 20.76 lakh hectares against the normal 26.19 lakh hectares.

Last year during the same period (Nov 16) sowing was completed in 28.22 lakh hectares, they said.

Deshpande also noted that the revenue department had conducted a ‘File disposal week’ from November 12-18, during which more than 2.56 lakh files were cleared.

“In future also, we will try to evolve different strategies to clear about 7,97,258 files that are pending as on November 19,” he said.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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