Defence Minister and Karnataka MP Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday visited the flood-affected Kodagu district of Karnataka to observe the relief and rehabilitation operations being carried out by the armed forces.
Sitharaman announced a donation of Rs 1 crore from the Member of Parliament Local Area Fund for the district. The Union minister also said Rs 7 crore from Corporate Social Responsibility funds of Defence Public Sector Undertakings will be sent as financial assistance for flood and landslide relief work in Kodagu.
Bharatiya Janata Party Member of the Legislative Council in Karnataka Lehar Singh Siroya pledged Rs 1 crore from the Legislator Local Area Development Scheme, ANI reported. Siroya submitted his offer letter to Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
About 110 km of national highways and 1,500 km of state highways in the state have been damaged in the floods, resulting in a loss of Rs 487 crore. Roads in Kodagu, Mangaluru, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Kolar, Chikkaballapura and Bengaluru bore the brunt of rains.
“I will definitely meet Nitin Gadkari to discuss the roads,” ANI quoted Sitharaman as saying. “I will speak to the home minister because he takes care of the National Disaster Relief Funding and I will certainly go back to prime minister to give him report of what I have seen here.” Gadkari is the minister for road transport and highways.
The minister said some of the roads, houses, buildings, water and electricity connections in the district, which borders Kerala, would be restored by the Army, ANI reported. “The Air Force is also trying to help,” she added.
Heavy rain in Kodagu earlier this month triggered landslides and floods that wiped out entire villages, left eight dead and thousands homeless. While relief material continues to pour into the district, volunteers told Scroll.in that they need funds to rebuild homes and keep essential services running.