Mysuru: The Relief and rehabilitation works in flood ravaged Kodagu District and elsewhere in Karnataka intensified as there is little let up in incessant rains that claimed 13 lives since August 13. There is little respite in the rain and rescue teams including from the Army, Navy, Air Force, NDRF and other personnel continued rescue operations on Tuesday.
Taking advantage of let up in the down pour, the teams began their operation right from sun rise today at Mukkodlu, Devasthur, Galibeedu, Sampaje, Pushpagiri, Madenadu and other surrounding places in devastated Kodagu District.
Hundreds of people still reported missing and the rescue teams have been finding it extremely difficult to reach the targeted places due to inclement weather and hostile conditions, with the hilly terrains engulfed in mist and earths caving in at several places frequently hampering the works.
As relief materials, both in cash and kind, are pouring in into the District Head Quarters in Madikeri from all parts of the State, the authorities are finding it difficult to despatch them to Relief Camps and Centres due to poor road connectivity, communication network and logistical support.
The continuing rescue and relief operations in Kodagu district have reached their last phase with the Army and National Disaster Response Force personnel searching isolated villages even as the authorities confirmed the death toll at 12 in the district. Multiple agencies involved in the operations have so far rescued 4,400 people.
A team of experts from the National Geophysical Research Institute, headed by H.M.S. Prakash, former Deputy Director-General of Geological Survey of India, has started geo-technical studies in areas where there have been landslides.
Relief Commissioner Gangaram Baderia said the district administration is working on combating the outbreak of diseases and is ensuring cleanliness and hygiene. With relief materials including food articles stocking up, the authorities are increasingly worried over their distribution, as it has become difficult for them to reach out to victims, most of whom are inaccessible. District administration has already declared holiday for schools and colleges today also.
However, the authorities are taking measures to ensure that food does not go waste due to non-distribution among victims, who are camped at numerous Relief Centres set up by the district administration. Health care too has taken a hit due to shortage of medical staff and Doctors. Although teams of doctors from neighbouring Mysuru, Hassan, Mandya districts and BBMP have been camping at Madikeri since yesterday, they are finding it extremely difficult to carry out their task in villages and relief camps, due to poor road connectivity coupled with inaccessibility due to landslides and floods.
Even as rehabilitation of thousands of flood-affected people and construction of houses for displaced victims pose a huge challenge for both the State and Central governments, the district administration has put the initial estimate of losses at Rs 8,500 crores, while it is expected to go up to Rs 20,000 crore when a survey of total losses is completed.
With teams briskly carrying out rescue and relief operations, Kodagu Deputy Commissioner P.I. Sreevidya inspected flood-affected areas in and around Kushalnagar town g and took stock of the situation amidst brief spells of rain.
She later held a meeting with officials and received inputs on the measures taken for distribution of relief materials and food, prevention of spread of epidemic diseases, health care of victims and such other issues.
With Kodagu reeling under rain havoc, and rescue-cum-relief operations going on in full swing, the Deputy Commissioner has banned entry and stay of tourists in Kodagu till Aug. 31.
In a circular issued on Sunday, DC P.I. Sreevidya has prohibited tourists from staying in hotels, resorts, home stays, guest houses and other private lodges and boarding homes, till the end of this month.
The flood situation in Mysuru district is limping back to normalcy with reservoirs discharges has been reduced.
The KRS inflow was reduced to 80.000 cusecs and outflow was 70,000 cusecs which was more then 1.3 lakhs two days back. While the kabini reservoir outflow reduced to 25,000 cusecs from 80,000 cusecs three days back and now the inflow at 32,000 cusecs. Similarrly the discharge has been reduced from Hemavathi Reservoir in Hassan and Harangi dam in Kodagu district .
Stating that it will take months to repair and reconstruct damaged roads across Kodagu district, PWD Minister H.D. Revanna has said that it may need at least 30 days to re-open Madikeri-Mangaluru road for Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) traffic, while it may take more than six months for the road to be made ready for movement of Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs).
Noting that 37 km stretch of Madikeri-Mangaluru Highway from Talattamane to Sampaje has totally collapsed due to heavy rains and landslides, Revanna said that the works can be launched only after the rain stops completely.
Maintaining that a total of 274 km of PWD roads have been destroyed and 40 bridges were extensively damaged due to heavy rains and landslides in Kodagu district, the Minister put the losses at Rs 290 crore.
Since June 1, Sakleshpur taluk received 3,463 mm of rainfall against the normal 1,580 mm, an excess of 119 per cent, which no other taluk witnessed in this period. Since January 1, the taluk received 3,838 mm of recording an excess rainfall of 115 per cent.
According to a report from Belagavi, though rain has stopped in the neighbouring Maharashtra State, the inflow has increased due to more discharge into Krishna, Vedganga Dudganga. Around five low level bridge cum barrages submerged in Chikkodi and Raibag taluk today.
Barricades have been put up on both the sides of marooned bridges and round the clock vigil was maintained. At Almatti dam, built across the river Krishna, the Inflow is 1,54,095 cusecs and outflow was 1,59,963 cusecs.