Kharge asks Centre to release Rs 18,171 crore for Karnataka drought relief


Team Udayavani, Dec 6, 2023, 1:36 PM IST

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge Wednesday asked the Central government to release Rs 18,171 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for Karnataka reeling under the impact of severe drought.

Raising the matter in the House during the Zero Hour, the Congress president said Karnataka is grappling with the most severe drought in 123 years and the damage to crops is estimated at over Rs 35,162 crore. According to him, the damage to crops ranges from 40-90 per cent.

Kharge said the state government has sought Rs 18,171 crore from the NDRF to help the affected people.

”This financial support is crucial for providing input subsidies, gratuitous relief and implementing other immediate growth measures due to low rainfall (in Karnataka),” the senior Congress leader said.

He further highlighted that water levels in various reservoirs have reached an alarmingly low mark and there may also be a shortage of drinking water in the coming days.

Kharge also spoke about the flood situations in certain parts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai. He also accused the BJP of not paying heed to the problems being faced by people as they have ”won elections”.

Meanwhile, Amee Yajnik of the Congress said raised the issue of women’s safety and demanded that all laws concerned should be implemented strictly. She said violence against women in public spaces has a big detrimental effect on the development of a nation and its economy.

Rajya Sabha BJP member Ashok Bajpai highlighted the issues related to the safety and security of on-duty doctors. He said there are about 25 lakh doctors in the country who do a phenomenal job and cited their work during the Covid pandemic.

He suggested that while health is a state subject, the Centre could bring a model law and set up medical tribunals to help doctors facing cases.

Congress MP Rajeev Shukla raised the issue of the plight of undertrials lodged in jails of the country and demanded judicial reforms to deal with the matter. His party colleague Imran Pratapgarhi said the government should focus on improving facilities in trains.

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