Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday said a central team on a tour of drought-hit areas in the state has lauded the steps taken by the government to tackle it, but raised concern over malnutrition in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
“The team has expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the government for drought relief work, but voiced concern over malnutrition in Hyderabad-Karnataka region, which we have promised to address seriously,” he told reporters here. On April 30, government had informed the High Court that 68,000 children suffer from malnutrition.
The court had constituted a nine-member committee after B L Patil of NGO Vimochana Sangha wrote — following a TV channel report of children suffering from malnutrition — to Chief Justice Vikramjit Singh to look into it. The CJ converted it to a PIL and asked it to look at various aspects. Gowda also expressed confidence that the Centre would release 50 per cent of Rs 4,600 crore sought by the government for drought relief.
Gowda also said the team would submit a report to the Centre on the drought situation in the state. The government has declared 123 of 176 taluks in Karnataka as drought affected. The team’s visit comes in the backdrop of a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by a delegation led by Gowda, seeking Rs 1,500 crore as interim relief for crop losses totalling Rs 5,864 crore caused due to scanty rainfall.
The delegation also wanted the Centre to allot an additional three lakh tons of rice and 57,200 tonnes of wheat for families living Below the Poverty Line. Gowda declined to comment on CBI raids at former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and family members’ properties and residences in Bangalore and Shimoga.