The Karnataka government on Tuesday sought interim relief of over Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre to deal with deficient monsoon rains leading to acute scarcity of drinking water and fodder in the state.
"We explained about drought-like situation in Karnataka. We have asked Centre's help. We have requested interim relief of over Rs 2,000 crore," state Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar told reporters after meeting Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in New Delhi.
While Mr Shettar did not disclose the exact amount sought, sources in the Agriculture Ministry said the BJP-ruled state has demanded Rs 2,600 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
The state is facing acute scarcity of drinking water and fodder, he added. Major parts of Karnataka have not received sufficient rains. Barring coastal region, the rain deficit is 50 per cent in the state.
Monsoon is deficient by 23 per cent so far in the entire country affecting sowing of kharif crops such as paddy, coarse cereals, pulses and oilseeds.
"Karnataka has not submitted a detailed plan. They will do that in the first week of August. After that, we will send a team and then see what can be done. Karnataka is the only state that has asked for help so far," Mr Pawar said. Yesterday, he had said the situation in Karnataka and Maharashtra is worrisome and areas under coarse cereals, especially jowar and bajra might get affected.
He had said that the Centre is ready with contingency plan to deal with any eventuality and sufficient seeds are in stock for late sowing.