200,000 houses needed for Karnataka

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200,000 houses needed for Karnataka
Bangalore:  From a helicopter, Sonia Gandhi and P Chidambaram saw what is left of hundreds of villages. Adrift in the water that has ravaged Northern Karnataka, the homes, savings and lives of so many.

On the ground, the Karnataka Chief Minister says a padayatra (walkathon) will be led by him to help raise money for rehabilitation.

The government has promised to build 200,000 new homes. Several villages in the Cauvery and Krishna basins have to be permanently relocated. And to minimize delays, government staff have been asked not to go on leave for the next two months.

For villages like Suggenahalli, power and drinking water have both disappeared. Ramesh, a school teacher, says, "It is very difficult for us. Food grains were spoilt, stored money was lost."

From immediate relief for thousands like Ramesh, to long-term rehabilitation plans, what is needed now is immediate delivery of promises made by visiting and local politicians.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has also requested the Centre for Rs 10,000 crores.

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