Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 15th meeting of the governing council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi on Saturday.
In his speech at the meeting, Kumaraswamy stressed on the need for drought relief measures in the state and requested the central government for aid. “Memorandum was submitted to Government of India regarding drought seeking financial assistance of Rs 2064 crore under NDRF. The high-level committee is yet to be convened to decide on the quantum of relief from NDRF," he said.
Before the Lok Sabha elections, the Karnataka government had requested Rs 2,063 crore for drought relief during the rabi season. At the time, the Karnataka government said that 156 out of 175 taluks in the state, almost 9 out of every ten taluks, were drought hit.
In his speech, Kumaraswamy also informed the central government that there was a 45% deficiency in rainfall this year. A lack of pre-monsoon rainfall caused water scarcity problems not only in the arid northern Karnataka region but also in central and coastal Karnataka.
He further urged the central government to increase the allocation to the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
"The central government has reimbursed over Rs 1,757 crore. Government of India is yet to reimburse over Rs 1,500 crore advance paid by the state government over and above its share. I request the Prime Minister to significantly increase the allocation of MGNREGA so that the MGNREGA workers are not subjected to hardship due to delays in payment of wages,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy also urged the central government to expedite the construction of the suburban railway project in Bengaluru. “While the state government has given its clearance for the much needed suburban railway project, the Government of India has asked to revisit some of the issues. This may delay the project further. I request the Government of India to clear the project as proposed,” he said in his speech.