Karnataka Seeks Supreme Court Intervention for Drought Relief Funds

Karnataka Seeks Supreme Court Intervention for Drought Relief Funds

The Karnataka government has filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking the release of financial assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to manage drought in the state. The petition also contends that the Centre’s failure to provide this assistance violates fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

Severity of Drought

  • The state is facing severe drought conditions, adversely affecting the livelihoods of its people.
  • For the Kharif 2023 season (June to September), 223 out of 236 taluks in Karnataka have been declared as drought-affected.
  • Among these, 196 taluks are severely affected, while 27 are moderately affected.

Financial Losses

  • Agriculture and horticulture crop loss during Kharif 2023 season amounts to over 48 lakh hectares, with an estimated loss of ₹35,162 crore.
  • Karnataka seeks financial assistance of ₹18,171.44 crore from the Government of India under the NDRF.

Legal Obligations

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005 mandates the Union of India to provide financial assistance to state governments.
  • Karnataka contends that the Centre’s denial of financial assistance for drought management violates statutory provisions and guidelines.

Delay in Assistance

  • Despite assessment reports and recommendations, the Centre has not taken a final decision on providing assistance, even six months after the assessment.
  • Karnataka alleges that this inaction is illegal, arbitrary, and violates citizens’ fundamental rights.

Legal Action

  • Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced the state’s petition to the Supreme Court, urging immediate release of NDRF grants.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. Which fund has the Karnataka government sought financial assistance from for drought management?
    • A) State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)
    • B) National Relief Fund (NRF)
    • C) National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)
    • D) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF)
    • Answer: C) National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)
  2. How many taluks in Karnataka were declared as drought-affected for the Kharif 2023 season?
    • A) 200
    • B) 236
    • C) 223
    • D) 196
    • Answer: C) 223
  3. What is the estimated financial loss due to crop damage during the Kharif 2023 season in Karnataka?
    • A) ₹48,000 crore
    • B) ₹35,162 crore
    • C) ₹18,171.44 crore
    • D) ₹50,000 crore
    • Answer: B) ₹35,162 crore
  4. According to the Disaster Management Act, 2005, what is the obligation of the Union of India towards state governments?
    • A) Provide technical assistance
    • B) Offer policy recommendations
    • C) Render financial assistance
    • D) Conduct risk assessments
    • Answer: C) Render financial assistance