Karnataka has sought Rs 4,702 crore to help tackle the “worst drought in 15 years” the state has seen, PTI reported on Friday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who led a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said he was assured of a decision on the release of the money towards a relief fund by January 4.

“At the meeting, I was told a high-level meeting, headed by the Union home minister, has been called on January 4 to decide on drought relief for Karnataka,” Siddaramaiah told reporters. “We told the prime minister to put in a word to the ministers concerned to release the entire relief fund sought.”

In a memorandum submitted to Modi, the chief minister said 139 of the 176 taluks in the state had been declared drought hit, with 35 lakh farmers affected by the acute water scarcity. The drought had also impacted power generation in the state, the memorandum said, according to The Hindu. “The state has already spent Rs 400 crore in drought-hit areas. If the Centre does not give the entire relief amount, it will be a burden on the exchequer,” Siddaramaiah said.

Karnataka has also requested the Centre to release the second installment of the Rs 2,856 crore allotted for the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the chief minister said.

The South Indian state has been dealing with a severe drought for the last six years.