As many as 104 rain-related deaths have been reported in Karnataka since April, Revenue Minister R V Deshpande said today, as he directed officials to take up relief works in affected areas on a war footing.
Reviewing the situation with officers after assuming office following the recent cabinet expansion of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, he said there was no shortage of funds.
“There have been 104 rain-related deaths reported so far, of which 94 were due to lightning, 10 due to drowning and tree or wall collapse. We have issued directions for providing compensation to almost all of those affected immediately,” Deshpande said.
Speaking to reporters, he said immediate payment would be made in case of damage to property, life and livestock.
He said according to Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) norms, Rs four lakh was given as relief in the case of loss of human lives, and the chief minister had declared an additional Rs one lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Deshpande said Rs 4.16 crore compensation has been paid in cases relating to loss of lives, Rs 1.60 crore for loss of cattle and Rs 2.87 crore for 2,298 damaged houses.
Officials said Deputy Commissioners in every district would have a minimum of Rs five crore as calamity relief fund to address the situation immediately.
According to officials, there has been “excess” rainfall in almost all places, including Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Malnad and coastal regions.
Of 30 districts, 29 have received above normal rainfall and one normal rainfall.
Pre-monsoon showers in Karnataka from March 1 to May 31 was 54 per cent in excess at 193 mm, as against the average or normal rainfall of 125 mm, Deshpande said.
Stating that the Southwest Monsoon entered coastal Karnataka on May 29 (three days earlier than predicted) and covered the entire state by June 8, he said there was an excess rainfall of 73 per cent.
With good rains, sowing in the state has improved.
As of yesterday, sowing operations had been taken up in 5.74 lakh hectares of agricultural land.
The officials and the minister also said about 248 villages faced drinking water problems as compared to 1,200 villages last year and that adequate measures were being taken to grapple with the problem.