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Karnataka Govt seeks Rs 3,375 crores from Centre for drought relief

New Delhi: With Karnataka facing drought for sixth consecutive year, the state government on Thursday sought central assistance of Rs 3,375 crores to tackle the situation.

Two state ministers, Kagodu Thimmappa and Krishna Byre Gowda, met Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

In the meeting, the Union Minister informed the state ministers that a central team will soon visit the drought-hit districts to assess the situation.

After the meeting, revenue minister Kagodu Thimmappa said: "We have declared 110 taluks of 25 districts as drought-hit.... We have sought Rs 3,375.77 crore assistance from the Government of India." The state has also sought a financial assistance of `120.13 crore to help those farmers who have not sown paddy in the Cauvery command area districts, he said.

In the memorandum, the state government said that prolonged continuous dry spell in the drought-declared taluks has destroyed an area of 25.57 lakh hectares crop and loss is estimated at Rs 11,051.33 crore. Though the state had an overall deficit of 18 per cent during South-West monsoon, there is very high spatial temporal variability of rainfall pattern across the state. The state government said the rainfall deficit was (-) 57 per cent in South Interior Karnataka, (-)37 per cent in Malnad during August and (-) 72 per cent in South Interior Karnataka and (-) 36 per cent in Malnad during September. Buoyed by good rains during June, cultivation of kharif (summer) crops was taken up briskly across the state in 71.67 lakh hectares

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