The Centre on Friday, 4 October approved an additional financial assistance of Rs 1,813.75 crore to Karnataka and Bihar for the damages caused by floods in the two states, the home ministry said on Friday.
The approval came after Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the ongoing rescue and relief work of all flood-affected states.
Keeping in view the severity of flood situation and the fund positions in the State Disaster Relief Fund account of Bihar and Karnataka, the home minister has approved advance release of Rs 400 crore to Bihar and Rs 1,200 crore to Karnataka from the National Disaster Relief "on account basis", a home ministry statement said.
As many as 103 taluks in 22 districts were affected due to floods in August, in which over 80 people were killed. Around seven lakh people were shifted to safe areas and thousands of houses were damaged.
Karnataka and Bihar had apprised of the paucity of funds in the SDRF account resulting in delay in providing relief assistance to the affected people and requested for release of advance additional financial assistance from the NDRF. Bihar had also requested advance release of the second installment of Centre’s share of the SDRF for the year 2019-20.
Shah further approved the advance release of 2nd installment of the Centre’s share of the SDRF amounting to Rs 213.75 crore to Bihar for the year 2019-20. Karnataka had sent a flood damage estimate of Rs 35,160.81 crore to the union government, reducing it by Rs 3,290 crore after the Centre objected to inclusion of private buildings that were affected.
The statement said the Centre supplements the efforts of the state governments by providing assistance for relief of immediate nature through the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as per established procedure. The SDRF has been constituted for each state.
The central government contributes 75 percent for general category states and 90 percent for North-Eastern and hilly states of the SDRF allocation each year. The first charge of relief expenditure is on the SDRF and in the cases of calamities of severe nature, it is supplemented from the NDRF as per established procedure.
K'Taka CM Thanks Centre for Releasing Rs 1,200 Cr as Relief
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday thanked the Centre for releasing Rs 1,200 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund for the flood-ravaged state. Not satisfied with the allocation, state Congress termed it a humiliation for the people of the state.
Yediyurappa's government had been facing intense criticism over the 'delay' in central aid.
"People of the state are humiliated with the allocation of Rs 1,200 crore as against the state government's assessment of Rs 35,000 crore. This shows that the Centre has zero confidence in @BSYBJP govt & doesn't believe him Kannadigas patience is put to severe test from @narendramodi on a regular basis! (sic)" Karnataka Congress tweeted.
BJP governments at both Centre and the state have been facing criticism from the Opposition Congress and JDS regarding the 'delay' in grant of central funds despite Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and inter-ministerial central team visiting the affected region.
The Opposition parties have accused Modi government of showing 'apathy' towards Karnataka, despite the state sending 25 BJP MPs.
Even BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and MP Srinivas Prasad and some staunch RSS and BJP supporters have expressed reservation on the delay in the release of central funds.