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Centre responsible for Mahanadi river row: BJD leader Prasanna Acharya

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Senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya has blamed the Centre for the Mahanadi row and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to resolve the river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

“If the Prime Minister intervenes in the matter actively, the Mahanadi river water issue could be resolved.

However, the Prime Minister has kept mum,” said Acharya, a former Odisha minister.

Noting that the BJP is in power both at the Centre and in Chhattisgarh, the Rajya Sabha member said it should put moral pressure on the Chhattisgarh government to sort out the matter.

The Mahanadi river dispute was the outcome of “lack of national outlook and myopic approach” adopted by the Narendra Modi government, Acharya told reporters here yesterday.

“Though they (BJP) are speaking about national interest, they lack national outlook. In a federal set up, the Union government should intervene to resolve disputes between two states… Such an approach adopted by the party is a threat to national integrity,” he said.

The BJD leader also accused Modi of having tried to mislead people over the Mahanadi issue at a recent public meeting in Cuttack, where he had said that 52 per cent of the river water was flowing into the Bay of Bengal, and the Odisha government should have taken steps to block it.

“If the river water is prevented from flowing into the sea, it would trigger an ecological imbalance. At least 30 to 35 per cent water of a river must be allowed to flow into the sea to maintain the ecological balance,” Acharya said.

Hitting out at the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh, he said that the state has constructed dams on the Mahanadi on the pretext of anicuts for irrigation purposes, which is “illegal”.

Stating that the National Green Tribunal had put a stay on further construction on the Mahahandi, Acharya alleged that the Chhattisgarh government has recently floated a tender for a new barrage on the river, in “violation of the order of the NGT”.

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Karnataka government steps up relief, rescue operations in rain-hit Kodagu

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Kerala

Bengaluru, Aug 18 (PTI) Bolstered by the Army, Navy and Airforce, the state government today intensified relief operations in Kodagu district, as six people were killed in rain-related incidents during the last 24 hours.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy undertook an aerial survey of the district which has been experiencing heavy rain for the past three days.

Deputy chief minister Parameshwara tweeted today six people have been killed in Kodagu due to floods and landslides during the last 24 hours.

The government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased, he said, adding that the government would take care of the treatment of the injured.

Landslides were reported from some places in the district and authorities have stepped up efforts to rescue stranded people, officials said.

“There is a severe situation for the past three days.

Now the central and state rescue teams are working on a war footing,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here.

An M17 Air Force helicopter has been deployed to provide food packets to the marooned and to airlift them, the chief minister said.

The government has deployed as many as 948 personnel from the army engineering task force, Dogra regiment, Indian Navy, national disaster response force, fire and emergency services, home guards and civil defence, Kumaraswamy said.

In addition to this, 200 NCC cadets have also been deployed, he added.

About 50 earthmovers have also been working round the clock to clear debris caused by the landslips. Boats are also being used in the rescue operations.

“More than 2,500 people have been rescued.. in Jodupal village alone, 348 people have been rescued,” he said.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 100 crore for undertaking relief work in Kodagu district.

A sum of Rs 200 crore was announced as grant-in-aid to the affected districts for relief work a few days ago.

A committee, comprising senior administrative officers led by chief secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, has been constituted to monitor relief operations, Kumaraswamy said.

“In Jodupal village, about 300 acres of land are lost in landslides. As many as 39 relief camps have been set up in the state, of which 30 are in Kodagu alone and the rest are in Dakshina Kannada district,” he said.

Revenue officers and doctors from Mysuru, Ramanagar, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajnagar have been deployed in large numbers in Kodagu district.

The government has supplied 2.5 lakh litres drinking water for Kodagu district and efforts are also on to restore power supply in rain-hit areas, he said.

Kumaraswamy said he has directed officials to identify those who have lost their houses.

“At least 800 houses have been completely damaged in Kodagu due to rain..I have directed district authorities to identify those who have lost their houses and prepare a list.

Considering them as special cases, Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh will be given as compensation to them,” he said.

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Chandrababu Naidu speaks to Kerala CM, promises help to rain-hit state

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Naidu

Amaravati, Aug 18 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today spoke to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan over the phone about the situation in the rain-ravaged state and assured him of providing all possible help in this hour of crisis.

A release from the Chief Minister’s Office here said Naidu expressed grief over the loss of lives and destruction of property in the monsoon fury.

Naidu assured Kerala that his state was ready to provide all possible help to it in this hour of crisis.

The Andhra Pradesh government had last night announced a financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to rain-ravaged Kerala.

Naidu told Vijayan that he would assist in mobilising more financial resources for rehabilitation work in Kerala.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government today despatched a special rescue team comprising 66 disaster response and fire services personnel, a district fire officer, 12 motorboats and other equipment to Kerala.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel from Mangalagiri also left for Kerala by a special aircraft, State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner M V Seshagiri Babu said.

As many as 194 people have lost their lives and 36 are missing in Kerala since August 8 due to rains and landslides, while over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

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Tamil Nadu CM K. Palaniswami announces ₹5 cr. more, relief materials, medical teams for Kerala

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Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday, August 18, 2018, announced relief materials including rice, milk and ₹ five crore more for relief operations in the flood ravaged Kerala.

Mr. Palaniswami said essential medicines and teams comprising medical and veterinary doctors will be immediately dispatched to the neighbouring state.

Over and above the ₹five crore contribution for relief given to Kerala on August 10 by Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister said,”an additional ₹five crore,” will be provided from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund.

On August 9, Mr. Palaniswami had announced the ₹ five crore for relief and rehabilitation work.

As regards relief materials, 500 tonne rice, 300 tonnes of milk powder and 15,000 litres of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processed milk, 10,000 blankets besides dhoties and lungies (coloured dhoties) will be immediately sent to Kerala, he said.

“Also, relief materials worth crores received from Tamil Nadu people have already been sent to Kerala through authorities in districts and this work will continue,” Mr. Palaniswami said in an official release here.

To coordinate relief-related tasks to help Kerala, two senior IAS officials have been assigned to work under Commissioner for Revenue Administration, K Sathyagopal, the Chief Minister noted.

Expressing anguish over the loss of lives, Mr. Palaniswami conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an immediate financial assistance of ₹500 crore to Kerala, after reviewing the flood situation in the state.

According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, since August 8, 194 people have lost their lives so far and 36 are missing.

Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

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