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5-Guarantees helped to stop migration of people during drought in Karnataka, says CM

BENGALURU: The 5-guarantee schemes of the ruling Congress government in Karnataka has helped arrest migration of people from rural areas to urban areas in search of livelihood and also to mitigate the intensity of drought, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah while stating that as many as 1.24 crore families have been befitted from the 5-schemes such as free travel for women, free power, Rs 2,000 cash benefit scheme for female head of a family, additional distribution of rice for BPL cardholders and unemployment allowances for youths.

He held a meeting in Bengaluru on to assess drinking water problems in Karnataka and at a press conference later stated that as per estimation done by the officials concerned, in coming days as many as 7, 400 villages and 1015 wards in urban areas could face severe water shortage owing to drought situation in the State and officials concerned are ready with contingency plan to tackle the situation which could arise in coming days in the State.

To the farmers of the State reeling under distress over water shortage, the Chief Minister said about 33.25 lakh farmers have been given about Rs 631 crore by the State Government towards drought-relief and each of the farmer has been given a sum of Rs 2,000 and the cash has been deposited through direct bank transfer.

Regarding crop insurance, he said, farmers have been paid Rs 600 crore so far and another Rs 800 crore would be paid to the affected farmers in coming days and the Chief Minister ruled out scarcity of fodder in the State and even if there is fodder scarcity then it is in “negligible” and in “isolated’ areas.

Under inevitable circumstances, he said, new bore-wells will be dug-up by officials concerned to cater to the needs of the people otherwise officials concerned will ensure water supply through pressing tankers, entering into agreement with private bore-well owners and also from bore-wells to address water problems of the people.

Criticising the attitude of the Bharatiya Janata Party led Central Government, Chief Minister said a letter was written to the Central Government asking to hike man days under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to 150 days and “It is mandatory to increase man days during drought years but Centre has responded to our repeated pleas.”

Nor, the Centre has released wage payment under MGNREGS (of about Rs 1,700) crore to Karnataka, added the Chief Minister ad recalled that he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Home Amit Shah seeking release of drought relief funds but nothing substantial happened so far.

Siddaramaiah said the first memorandum to the Central Government sought drought-relief of Rs 17, 791 crore and the second memorandum sought Rs 18, 172 crore as drought-relief but “Not a single paisa has been released by the Centre.”

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