The Union government on Monday allocated an additional Rs 1869.85 crore to Karnataka for funds as compensation for losses suffered during the devastating 2019 floods in the state. However, the sum allocated to Karnataka is only a small fraction of the Rs 50,000 crore requested by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in a recent public appeal. Even earlier when the state government had asked for Rs 8,790 crore as interim relief, the Centre had only sanctioned Rs 1,200 crore. At that time, a section of opposition leaders had said that out of the Rs 1,200 crore, Rs 303 crore was part of State Disaster Relief Fund’s yearly allocation.
In a detailed report submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August, Yediyurappa had sought Rs 10,000 crore as relief funds from the Centre to rebuild houses, buildings, roads, highways, schools and state-run hospitals. The Rs 10,000 crore figure came after the Chief Minister had initially deemed that Rs 40,000 crore in central relief aid was needed in memo submitted to the PMO.
According to a statement by the Press Information Bureau, a High-Level Committee (HLC), chaired by the Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah, met in New Delhi on Monday to consider additional central assistance to seven states which were affected by floods, landslides or cloudbursts during south-west monsoon in 2019.
The HLC approved an additional central assistance of Rs 5908.56 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to seven states — Rs 616.63 crore to Assam, Rs 284.93 crore to Himachal Pradesh, Rs 1869.85 crore to Karnataka, Rs 1749.73 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 956.93 crore to Maharashtra, Rs 63.32 to Tripura and Rs 367.17 crore to Uttar Pradesh.
The announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs came after the Chief Minister made a public appeal for funds while sharing a stage with PM Modi in Tumakuru on January 2.
Yediyurappa had appealed to the Prime Minister to sanction Rs 50,000 crore stating that his appeals for funds as a flood relief measure have been unanswered.
The floods in Karnataka affected 22 districts, with more than 80 people dead and close to four lakh houses damaged. According to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the state received 279% more rainfall than normal between August 3 and 10.