With The state facing a 38% deficit in rainfall since June, the Karnataka state government officially declared 195 out of 237 taluks as drought-hit on 14th September 2023. The villages are expected to face drought conditions for the next six months. Out of 195 taluks, 161 are declared as severely drought hit, and 34 taluks as moderately drought hit.
According to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the state government will now submit a memorandum to the Centre seeking funds for drought relief. The Deputy Commissioners will be issued guidelines to take up drought relief measures as per the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, who heads the cabinet sub-committee, said on Wednesday that there is a shortage of more than 40% of rainfall in the Malnad [hilly] region. There is a shortage of rain in the Cauvery catchment area and a similar situation exists in the interior regions of the state,” he said. This rainfall record is the lowest in the last 125 years.
According to the crop survey that has been conducted across the state for the past week and as per the central guidelines, the majority of the drought-hit areas are in North Karnataka, with Belagavi having the highest at 13, followed by Vijayapura (12), and Kalaburagi (11). Also, there are a good number of taluks from the Old Mysuru’s region and Central Karnataka. Among the lowest are Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Bidar, and Chamarajanagar.
With the condition of the crops deteriorating and the farmers in distress the state has decided to assign Task forces in the affected taluks, Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said funds will be provided to arrange tankers and rent borewells to supply drinking water and the farmers will be given free fodder and seeds for which 20 crore has been sanctioned. The number of person-days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme would be increased from 100 to 150 in the drought-hit taluks.