Left high and dry

Karnataka must brace itself for more pain this new year. Sources in the Central Government suggest we are unlikely to get the entire drought assistance sought. Faced with the worst drought in 40 years & crop failure on 36.35 lakh hectares, we had sought a relief package worth Rs. 4,700 odd crore under the National Disaster Response Fund, from the Centre.
After repeated requests, the PM finally gave the state time, when he met CM Siddaramaiah last week. The much awaited meeting was closely watched by Kannadigas, hoping to get their due after months of dry spell affecting agriculture, power generation, ground water recharge, drinking water supply and fodder availability.
Media reports today suggest that a sub-committee on drought that reviewed the proposal of the Karnataka government vis-a-vis the report of the central team submitted after visiting drought-hit areas, recommended a mere Rs. 1,780 crore towards 2016 kharif crop loss. Although this recommendation is to be deliberated at the High-Level Committee Meeting, it speaks of the step-motherly treatment being meted out to Karnataka by the current establishment.
Nature has been unkindly towards Karnataka for a few years now, letting us suffer with harsh weather conditions. And now, the Central Government will leave no stone unturned in increasing this suffering. It took multiple requests & letters, and mounting public, media pressure for the PM to grant Karnataka an appointment. And now, the relief fund recommended by the sub-committee is 38 per cent lower than the amount sought by us!
Looks like the 139 drought hit taluks in Karnataka don’t feature in the Prime Minister’s India. What else could explain this brazen injustice?

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