As torrential rains continue to batter many parts of Karnataka on Saturday, the State government released Rs 200 crore to take up relief and rehabilitation operations, even as Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai instructed constitution of two more State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) contingents.
The Chief Minister, who has tested COVID-19 positive, held a video conference with Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of rain-affected districts, Ministers and officials, and obtained details on flood havoc, landslides, crop losses and relief work undertaken, from his home where he has isolated himself.
While 70 people have lost their lives due to incessant rains from June 1 to August 6; a total of 507 livestock loss have been reported during the period.
Bommai has instructed the officials to constitute the additional SDRF contingents to strengthen relief and rescue systems, his office said in a statement.
”Already, SDRF and NDRF contingents have been deployed in the flood-hit areas. The DCs should maintain constant contact with the teams and take up immediate relief and rehabilitation works,” he said.
Further stating that there is no shortage of funds for relief and rehabilitation operations, the Chief Minister said already Rs 200 crore has been released for 21 districts, and the DCs should take immediate action to disburse compensation for houses destroyed or damaged.
According to information, till August 2, a sum of Rs 657 crore was available with the DCs to take up rescue and relief works, and the State government today released Rs 200 crore for 21 districts.
Repair and restoration of roads, bridges and electric supply lines should be taken up immediately, he said, power supply in villages should be restored and DCs should interact with the electricity supply companies (ESCOMS) concerned in this regard.
Adequate stock of electric poles and transformers should be ensured, and crop loss survey should be completed at the earliest and compensation disbursed without any delay, he added.
Bommai wanted the officials to issue flood alerts in advance and instructed for action in this regard at Bennehalla in Gadag district, Varada river banks in Haveri district and other places.
Alerts should be issued to villages downstream before releasing waters from reservoirs, and precautions should be taken to prevent breach of tank bunds, he said.
He wanted the officials to also identify the areas prone to landslides in Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts and to shift the people in these areas to safer places. ”People should be provided with good, quality food at the care centres,” he said.
While 3,559 houses have been damaged completely due to rains, 17,212 houses have been partially damaged,.
Agriculture crops in 1,29,087 hectares, horticulture crops in 7,942 hectares, 3,162 km of roads, 8,445 km of rural roads, 1,068 bridges and culverts, 4,531 schools, 222 anganwadis have been damaged.
Also, 16,760 electric poles, 1,469 transformers, 409 km of electric wires, and 33 minor irrigation tanks have been damaged.