Karnataka estimates flood damage at Rs.40 bn, seeks central help


Bangalore : Karnataka has suffered damage of around Rs.40 billion due to the heavy rainfall and floods in the last two weeks and will seek central assistance of Rs.5 billion, officials said.

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Damage to property is estimated at Rs.10 billion and crop loss Rs.30 billion, state a government official said after a meeting presided over Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to assess the damage.

“900,000 people in 1,142 villages in the northern districts of Belgaum, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada and Haveri, and Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Davanagere in the central part, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi on the western coast and Kodagu in the south have been affected by floods following heavy downpour in the last two weeks,” the official said.

The government has opened 136 relief camps for the flood-hit people, Kumaraswamy told reporters after the review meeting.

“The central government is yet to sanction any aid to Karnataka,” the chief minister said, adding he would speak to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil and seek immediate assistance of Rs.5 billion.

Kumaraswamy said he and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa would go on an aerial survey of the affected areas Saturday.

Ministers in charge of the districts were already touring the inundated areas to supervise relief and rehabilitation work.

Officials estimate the rain-related death toll to be over 240 since the beginning of the monsoon season in early June. Thirty deaths were reported in the first week of August.

The government is giving Rs.100,000 as relief to the families in case of death of a member and Rs.3,000 each to those whose dwellings have been damaged to meet their immediate needs, district officials said.