More than a third of Karnataka declared drought-hit
IANS BANGALORE THE Karnataka government on Tuesday declared 70 taluks (revenue subdivisions) out of the state’s 176 taluks drought-hit and will approach the central government soon for financial help. The decision to declare 70 taluks in 21 out of the 30 districts was taken at a meeting of ministers and senior officials of the affected districts, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said. The worst hit is Gulbarga district, about 620 km from Bangalore, as seven out of its 10 taluks have been declared drought-hit. In the 20 other districts, the number of taluks hit by lack of rains ranges from one to six. The rainfall in the current monsoon season has been uneven in the state as overall it has actually received more than normal rains, met department statistics show. Between June 1 and September 28, the overall rainfall was 860 cm, about 40 cm more than the normal for the state, the statistics show. However, there has been excess rain in coastal Karnataka and near normal in southern parts, in northern part of the state, 10 out of 11 districts have received less than normal rainfall. A cabinet sub-committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the chief minister to monitor the drought situation, an official statement said. “Memorandum to be submitted to the Centre (union government) seeking relief is being prepared,” it said. The state government has already released Rs 40 crore for drought relief operations and deputy commissioners of drought-hit districts have been told to start ‘Goshalas’ (cattle camps) and stock fodder, the statement said.