Funds have begun to pour in from public to help rebuild the flood-ravaged areas of Karnataka with over Rs 500 crore collected since Tuesday when the government announced opening of a special bank account for donations.
"I am overwhelmed by the response of the people of Karnataka," Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said after going through the city's commercial hub to seek funds for rehabilitation of over a million people left homeless by the September 30-Oct 2 rain and flashfloods.
A large number of traders and public jostled to hand over foodgrains, blankets, sarees and cash to the Yeddyurappa who was accompanied by Bangalore South parliament member HN Ananth Kumar, and some cabinet colleagues.
After walking for about a kilometre, he hopped on to a jeep along with Ananth Kumar.
Yeddyurappa began the walk from Mysore Bank circle, one of the busiest traffic junction in the heart of the city, and went round narrow roads which house mostly wholesale traders in foodgrains, clothes and stationery. Millions of rupees worth trading takes place in shops, some of which are no larger than 100 sq ft area.
The chief minister appealed to corporates to consider adopting villages and rebuild them apart from contributing funds.
The heavy downpour and flash floods have killed over 200 people, damaged around 300,000 hours and destroyed crops in 25 lakh (2.5 million) hectares. They have also washed away bridges and damaged over 10,000 km length of roads.
The government has estimated the loss at around Rs 20,000 crore and sought immediate central assistance of Rs 10,000 crore.
Yeddyurappa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the trail of death and destruction left by the rain and floods. He has also briefed Congress president and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister P Chidambaram who did an aerial survey of the damage on October 5.
He has now written to President Pratibha Patil to impress on the central government to release funds immediately.
State Congress leaders led by president RV Deshpande also took out 'padayatra' in upscale Koramangala area, about 10 kms from the city centre, Wednesday to collect funds.