Bengaluru: Denying that he had behaved arrogantly in tossing biscuit packets to the flood victims of Ramanathpur at a relief camp recently, Public Works Minister H.D. Revanna on Tuesday offered to apologise if he had offended them.
Mr Revanna explained that he was told at the relief camp that the victims had just arrived and not eaten anything.
“All I did was distribute the biscuits I had carried for them,” he added. The video of Mr Revanna tossing biscuit packets at the victims had gone viral and he was trolled on social media and in the media for his insensitivity.
“I had taken 250 quintals of rice and 3,000 litres of milk and biscuits for the victims. When I started distributing the packets, the children sitting at the back began asking for them. Without thinking, I tossed some biscuit packets at them. It was not an act of arrogance. Why would I have travelled all the way carrying food if I was being arrogant? If I have offended the children, I am ready to apologise,” he said.
Referring to the criticism he had received from BJP leaders, Mr Revanna said this was not the time for politicking when people were suffering. “None of the BJP leaders elected by the people or Union Ministers have come forward to do any relief work. Instead of politicking, the Prime Minister or Union Surface Transport Minister should visit Kodagu to assess the damage,” he added.
The Minister put the road damage suffered in the five districts that have been hit by heavy rainfall in the state around Rs 917 crore and revealed that the Shiradi ghat connecting Bengaluru and Mangaluru would be shut for the next six months as it had to be completely re-constructed. It had suffered a landslide on one side and the road had sunk into the valley on the other, he said. The loss caused due to damage of the state highway in three divisions of the state was around Rs 430 crore, and damage to the national highway was around Rs 487 crore. “ In some places the roads have sunk by 300 feet following landslides,” he added.
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