K’taka Govt Moves SC Seeking Centre to Release NDRF for Drought Relief

Karnataka Government

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated that the state government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, urging the Centre to promptly disburse grants from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to address the drought-like conditions prevailing in the state.

Speaking at a press conference in Bengaluru, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah emphasized, “The Karnataka government has patiently waited, but now we find it necessary to file a petition in the Supreme Court against the Central government. The Centre must release the NDRF funds without delay.”

He added, “The central government has breached the law, prompting our recourse to the Supreme Court.”

Siddaramaiah highlighted that extensive agricultural lands covering 48 lakh hectares have suffered damage in Karnataka due to drought, with the state having submitted three memorandums to the Centre seeking drought relief. He questioned the Centre’s apparent procrastination and inaction on the matter.

“After submitting the memorandums, a Central government team visited the state and submitted a report to the Centre on the prevailing conditions. According to the law, the Centre is required to make a decision on compensation within one month of receiving such a report. The report was submitted on October 20 last year. Subsequently, our revenue minister and two other ministers traveled to Delhi to meet with central leaders. However, they were not granted a meeting. This delay and inaction are concerning,” the Chief Minister stated.

Siddaramaiah further noted that despite meetings with Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there has been no change in the situation.

“On December 19, we met the Prime Minister and apprised him of the drought situation in Karnataka. We also met Home Minister Amit Shah and briefed him on the situation. When the Prime Minister visited Karnataka, I once again reminded him of the situation. However, there has been no progress thus far,” he remarked.

Asserting that not a single rupee has been received from the Centre to address the drought situation in Karnataka, Siddaramaiah disclosed that the state government has allocated Rs 870 crore towards tackling the issue. “We still have Rs 800 crore available to address the problem,” he mentioned, adding that out of 240 taluks, 220 have been declared as drought-affected.

The state is grappling with a severe water crisis, with drought-like conditions leading to a decline in reservoir levels. Bengaluru, the capital city, is experiencing a shortage of 500 million litres per day (MLD). The current demand for drinking water and commercial use in Bengaluru stands at 2,600 MLD, out of which 1,450 MLD is sourced from the Cauvery River and approximately 650 MLD is obtained from borewells, resulting in a deficit of 500 MLD water in the city.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte