The Central government on Friday assured flood-hit Karnataka of all possible help in mitigating the hardships of its people reeling under the devastation caused by heavy monsoon rains, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters.
"Of the Rs 200 crore the state government sought for relief management, the Centre has already released Rs 78 crore and the balance 128 crore will be released soon," Joshi said.
A three-time MP from Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency, Joshi visited the flood-hit areas in the state's northwest districts of Belagavi, Bangalkot and Huballi-Dharwad and interacted with the affected people.
The state can also apply and avail an additional Rs 100 crore assistance from the Centre under the State Disaster Response Fund."There is no dearth of funds and resources to provide rescue and relief to the people of the state where 12 districts in coastal, central and northwest regions are affected by floods caused by heavy rains and gusty winds over a week," said Joshi.
The Central government will also release additional funds for rehabilitation of the people after the rains subside.
The death toll in rain-related deaths increased to 15 from 9 in the state on Friday and 45,000 people have been shifted to relief camps and safer places from low-lying and submerged areas in the affected districts.
The Centre has also flown in four companies of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the flood-hit districts of Belagavi, Bagalkot, Vijayapura, Uttar Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Shivamogga and Raichur.
"Rescue and relief operations are being scaled up in the affected districts in view of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting more heavy rains in the regions till August 11, an official told IANS in Bengaluru.
The decision to scale up the operations was taken in New Delhi earlier on Friday at a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), chaired by Union Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha. The meeting was called to review the flood situations in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The Met Department has predicted more rains in the southern and western regions of the country over the next two days.