New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealing for higher allocation of funds for drought relief in the state.
In a letter to the Home Minister, Kumaraswamy requested a revision of the Centre-approved funds worth Rs 1, 527 crore for Karnataka’s State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), as it is only a fraction of what several other states.
“Karnataka State is prone to natural disasters like drought, flood, hailstorm, excessive rainfall, lightening etc. In the past 17 years, state has faced 13 droughts of varied intensity. As far as the SDRF allocation is concerned, Karnataka has been allocated only Rs.1, 527 crore for five year period from 2015-16 to 2019-20,” the letter read.
“Other states such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have been allocated Rs.8,195 crore, Rs.6094 crore and Rs.4847 crore and Rs.3394 crore respectively. Hence, State Government had requested for enhancement of SDRF allocation to Rs.3, 050.72crores,” the letter added.
Kumaraswamy further said that the Karnataka Government had submitted a comprehensive memorandum on May 7, 2016, requesting for additional allocation.
“The State Government had submitted a comprehensive memorandum on May 7, 2016; requesting for an additional allocation of Rs.12, 272.21crore as central assistance for various drought proofing measures,” the letter further noted.
“Now, the Fifteenth Finance Commission has already been constituted and it is earnestly requested that Government of India should make appropriate recommendation to base the allocation of SDRF on the hazard vulnerability risk profiles of the States,” it added.
The SDRF is available to states for disaster response and is constituted under Section 48 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The funds are used to meet expenditures for providing relief to victims of disasters. According to media reports, water shortage hit almost all parts of Karnataka earlier in the year and 160 out of the state’s 176 taluks were officially declared drought-hit.