Monday, March 26, 2012

Drought relief works come to a standstill..

The battle for leadership in the state BJP has cast its shadow over drought relief works in the state.While a number of MLAs and ministers are away from their constituencies to back former minister B S Yeddyurappa in his struggle for power, it is the hapless people in the drought-hit villages and taluks who are bearing the brunt. Many drought relief works have come to a standstill as officers are in a state of chaos and confusion. Be it measures to solve drinking water problem or employing people for works under the MGNREGA, officers have to get the approval from the MLAs in the respective constituencies. With the advancement of summer, drinking water and fodder scenario is grim in the state.

According to sources, about 123 taluks of 24 districts in the state have been declared drought hit. Of them, majority of the taluks belong to north Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karantaka region. Apart from these two regions, Chitradurga and Tumkar are also reeling under severe drought.With the delay in taking up relief works, many villagers in Bijapur, Bidar, Yadgiri, Koppal, Bagalkot and Gadag in the north Karnataka region are beginning to migrate to neighboring states in search of jobs. With no trace of fodder in the region, some farmers are resorting to distress sale of their cattle. Drinking water has become so scarce that villagers are forced to drink contaminated water from bore wells with high fluoride content in several districts including Bidar, Yadagiri, Davangere, Raichur, Koppal and Bijapur.

A senior revenue officer said it is the responsibility of each MLA to hold meetings with the tahasildar and other officers to review the situation and to give his approval to take up drought relief works in the respective taluks. Besides, district ministers should hold review meetings with the DC and other officers and approve drought relief works. But such meetings are simply not taking place as all the MLAs and ministers are busy in the power game. The need of the hour is to start goshalas in all drought hit taluks, to arrange for sufficient fodder, to tackle drinking water problem, and assigning works to the needy under MGNREGA.Speaking to TOI, Gangaram Baderia, regional commissioner said, "We have taken measures to solve drinking water problem in Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharawd, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Gadag and Haveri district on priority basis." Somashekhar, statistical officer, revenue department said Rs 173 crore has been released for relief works.

Source:Times of india