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Severe drought hits Karnataka, Mysuru Dasara likely to be a low-key affair

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Ninety-eight taluks in twenty-six districts in Karnataka are on the verge of severe drought. The monsoon has completely failed in at least 16 districts out of total 30 districts. The rainfall in other districts had been less as well, except in 3 or 4 districts where it was up to normal levels, according to a report published in Vijayavaani newspaper, a Kannada daily.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah chaired a high-level meeting on Tuesday night, in which it was decided to declare all the affected 98 taluks as “drought-hit”. The present drought is being considered as the most severe drought since 1972 with the monsoon rainfall being estimated as 28 per cent deficient than its normal levels.

The worst hit are the farmers and the rural population. A huge scarcity of water has been created in various districts. The list of 16 districts which have been worst affected along with their percentage deficiency in rainfall are as follows:

Vijayapura (63), Raichuru (61), Yadagiri (55), Bagalakote (52), Kalaburagi (51), Bidar (50), Gadaga (44), Koppala (41), Belagavi (41), Dharwada (39), Haveri (29), Bellary (27), Chikkaballapura (24), Chamarajanagara (23), Ramanagara (22), Kolara (22).

The water levels of at least 13 dams have sharply reduced as compared to previous year’s levels at this time. For example, the water level at Linganamakki dam has reduced from 126.91 thousand million cubic (TMC) in August 2014 to 66.05 TMC in August 2015. Similarly, the water levels at KRS, Tungabhadra, and Alamatti dams have reduced from 48.41, 97.70, and 117.88 TMC respectively in 2014 to 28.64, 69.57, and 72.45 TMC respectively in 2014 according to the report in Kannada daily.

The Karnataka government has already released around Rs 200 crore towards drought relief, of which around Rs 25 crore is exclusively being used to provide water to drought areas through tankers.

Mysuru Dasara likely to be a low-key affair

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government is also thinking about conducting this year’s Dasara celebration in a simple manner restricted to conducting only the traditional ceremonies. But, the final decision is yet to be taken. The government has asked the Dasara Celebration Committee member to consult various stakeholders, writers and social leaders regarding the issue.

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Mysuru Dasara’s traditional celebrations
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Swarna Bharat Party condemns government’s healthcare policy in Karnataka

The privatisation of health policies was opposed by SBP

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Health policies of Karnataka being opposed by SBP
SBP asks government to work on government hospitals rather then privatising them. Facebook
18th November 2017:
Mr Asif Iqbal, Karnataka State coordinator of Swarna Bharat Party (SBP), today strongly opposed the communist, anti-market and anti-people policy of the Congress Karnataka government to cap healthcare charges in the private sector.
Mr Iqbal said that the Siddaramaiah government should start learning basic economics. Good intentions do not necessarily lead to good outcomes. This communist policy will shut down many hospitals and drive away thousands of health professionals. In this way, it will hurt everyone, including the poor. No communist society has ever done well, and this communist policy will badly harm Karnataka.
In a free market people voluntarily give their custom to the service provider who gives them the best service at the lowest cost. Simultaneously, the desire for profits motivates healthcare providers to provide good quality healthcare while keeping their costs down. And they can’t charge whatever they wish since they are forced by the competition among hospitals to keep prices low. Anyone who makes a profit in such a competitive environment is signalling that he has successfully and efficiently served the people. That is the best outcome for society.
Mr Iqbal said that a government’s role is to create the environment for market-led profitable investments, thereby serving the needs of the community. But instead of identifying and addressing any barriers to investment, the Congress communists are attacking the very existence of the health sector.
Mr Siddaramaiah should remember that the taxpayer does not subsidise private medical establishments, nor should there be any such subsidy. These establishments buy land at commercial rates, pay commercial taxes and get utilities like water and electricity at commercial rates. In fact, SBP understands that most private hospitals and clinics do not break even for the first 5-10 years and most earn barely enough to stay in business.
Mr Iqbal said that instead of Mr Siddaramaiah worrying about the private sector (which is already badly shackled with thousands of rules and infrastructure constraints), he should look within – at the total mismanagement of government hospitals. The private sector is the last ray of hope for the people of Karnataka. Now the anti-people Congress wants to extinguish even this last ray of hope.
SBP also opposes many other aspects of the new health laws, such as a district redressal body that comprises six members but with only one doctor member. Further, there are already several avenues for patients to complain, including consumer courts, civil courts, medical bodies. Creating another body is unnecessary and will only increase fear in doctors’ mind. SBP demands a complete repeal of the new law.