The Centre on Friday approved an additional Rs 1,813.75 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund to flood-hit Karnataka and Bihar. The amount will be released on Saturday morning, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Torrential rain in Bihar, which has triggered floods in 15 districts, has claimed 73 lives till Thursday. More than 80 people have died after heavy rains affected 21 districts in Karnataka. The state government estimated that it had suffered over Rs 38,000 crore worth of losses because of damaged crops and inundated public and private properties.
The approval for additional financial aid came after Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the ongoing rescue and relief work of all flood-affected states. Of the Rs 1,813.75 crore, Bihar will get Rs 400 crore to Bihar while Karnataka will receive R 1,200 crore. Shah also approved the advance release of the second installment of the Centre’s share of the State Disaster Response Fund amounting to Rs 213.75 crore to Bihar for 2019-’20.
“The states of Karnataka and Bihar have 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 NDRF,” read the statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs. “The state of Bihar has also requested for advance release of the second installment of centre’s share of SDRF for the year 2019-20.”
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa thanked the Centre for the aid. State units of the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being indifferent towards Karnataka when it was facing a flood-like situation in August. Criticism from the Opposition was triggered after Modi tweeted about the floods in Bihar, saying that he had spoken to the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar regarding the prevailing situation.
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