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Karnataka: Pre-monsoon Rains Kill 52 In State; High Alert Issued

It has been reported that some casualties were caused by falling trees while some died due to thunder strikes or got washed away in rainwater.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said 52 deaths have been reported so far due to pre-monsoon rains in the state, along with damages to properties, and directed officials concerned to provide immediate relief.

It has been reported that some casualties were caused by falling trees while some died due to thunder strikes or got washed away in rainwater.

He said authorities have been warned of strict action in case of dereliction of duty.

What did CM Siddaramaiah say?

The CM today chaired a meeting with Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of all districts and CEOs of Zilla Panchayats, over video conferencing, to discuss disaster management.

"Pre-monsoon showers have started in several parts, pre-monsoons are from April to June. This time pre-monsoon showers have been 10 per cent above normal. In this about 52 people have lost their lives so far, 331 livestock loss has been reported, crop loss has been reported in 20,000 hectare, and 814 houses have been damaged," Siddaramaiah told reporters after the meeting.

Immediate relief has to be provided for all these, he said.

"Already Rs 5 lakh has been provided to the family of 52 dead -- who have died due to tree fall, those died due to thunder strike or washed away by rain water."

"Also, it has been decided to provide relief to livestock loss, and to assess the damages caused to houses and provide immediate relief," he added.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, Ministers and senior government officials were present at the meeting.

How the govt is dealing with the situation?

Noting that there was lot of expectations from the people after the new government coming to power, the CM said the dispensation has to live up to their expectations and officials should also become active.

"So strict instructions have been given to DCs of districts, CEOs of Zilla Panchayats," he said.

Averring that monsoon will start from June and according to the Met Department it will start from June 9, Siddaramaiah said pre monsoon sowing has been done in more than 2 lakh hectares so far.

"Deputy Commissioners have Rs 540 crore with them and based on the situation if money is required, the government is ready to provide more. There is Rs 331 crore under the disaster relief fund....so for any reasons relief works should not stop," he said.

The CM also instructed the officials to ensure that there was no shortage of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides.

"Officials have been given the responsibility, and if they don't fulfill it, action will be taken against them," he said and added that as the state has witnessed successive years of floods, taking cue from the past experience precautionary measures have been taken.

DCs and CEOs have been directed to visit villages and inspect the ground realities, and take decisions based on that.  

Instructions have been given regarding Bengaluru city too, the CM said. Underpasses where water gets logged during rains, should be shut for traffic, and it should be cleared scientifically.

"Drains have to be desilted, encroachments of rajakaluves (storm water drains) have to be cleared --works should restart in this regard, all measures have to be taken to ensure that roads are not inundated. Strict instructions have been given to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in this regard," he added.

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(With PTI Inputs)

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