Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has disclosed that the state’s farmers have faced losses amounting to Rs 30,000 crore this year due to drought. He stated that the drought has led to crop damage on 42 lakh hectares in the state, with 216 out of 236 taluks declared as drought-affected.
Addressing the issue, Siddaramaiah stated, “There is crop loss on 42 lakh hectares in the state, resulting in a Rs 30,000 crore loss for farmers this year. Following National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) guidelines, we have requested Rs 4,860 crore from the central government, and a central team has assessed the drought-affected areas.” He made these remarks during the inauguration of the historic Mysuru Dasara festival.
The Chief Minister also mentioned that his government had previously declared drought in 195 taluks of the state. Subsequently, the cabinet sub-committee announced drought in an additional 21 taluks, bringing the total to 216 taluks affected by drought.
In response, Siddaramaiah pledged that his government would offer input subsidies to farmers for drinking water, fodder, cattle water, employment, and other relief measures. He highlighted the unique aspect of this year’s situation as a “green drought,” where crops have grown but with little or no yield.
The state government recently issued an official notification declaring 22 more taluks as drought-affected, based on a recent crop survey and ground truthing report conducted over the past week.
Karnataka’s Revenue Minister, Krishna Byre Gowda, also announced that the state would submit another memorandum to the central government seeking additional relief funds, potentially ranging from Rs 300-350 crore, in accordance with the central government’s guidelines.
Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai warned the state government of potential farmer-led protests if four more districts – Haveri, Shiggaon, Hanagal, and Byadgi – are not declared as drought-hit by Monday.