Flood-hit Kodagu slowly returns to normalcy
Landslide victims’ kin await compensation
Kodagu: A month after the hilly district of Kodagu was hit by massive floods and landslides due to heavy south-west monsoon, the situation is slowly returning to normalcy.
Talking to The Hans India, Kodagu DC Annies Kanmani Joy said the district administration had sought Rs 600 crore from the government for the damages suffered due to floods and landslides.
Kodagu witnessed floods at 60 places and landslides at 15 places between August 5 and August 10. As many as 346 houses were damaged and 710 people were rescued and were housed at nine relief centres. Damage to infrastructure was pegged at Rs 598.56 crore, crop loss was reported in 41,026 hectare land, including coffee crops in 3,3645 hectare, horticulture crops 4,181 hectare, agriculture crops in 3,200 hectare. While a total of five people went missing due to landslides at Gajagiri hills at Talacauvery on August 6, bodies of only three people, including the chief priest of Talacauvery temple, were recovered. Bodies of two more people who went missing could not be traced despite intense operations for over two weeks by special teams amid adverse weather.
The state government had declared 130 taluks of 23 districts, including Kodagu in the state as flood hit due to heavy rains based on report from the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre Due to heavy rains between August 5 and August 10, among the 346 houses which suffered damages 12 houses suffered 75 to 100 percent damage, 291 houses suffered 15 to 25 percent damage. And due to floods and landslides 710 people were rescued by special police teams. And they were housed at nine relief centres in Kodagu.
As many as 12 families whose houses were completely damaged returned to their relatives houses, because unlike past two years, government is not providing house rent this year for their stay until they build a house. And the rest of them have returned to their partially damaged houses. Ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh was announced to those who have lost homes completely.
While a total of five people went missing after their home collapsed due to landslides at Gajagiri hills at Talacauvery, the body of 80-year-old chief priest of Talacauvery temple Narayan Achar could be traced after five days he went missing. The police could recover the body of Narayan Achar's elder brother 86- year-old Anandatheerthaswamy after two days, the body of Talacauvery temple priest Ravi Kiran was recovered after nind days after he went missing.
Though the special teams carried out operations, despite adverse weather, 70-year-old Shantha, wife of chief priest of Talacauvery temple Narayan Achar, one more assistant priest Pavan could not be traced. It is suspected that they are either buried under the debris of the house or swept away by floods.
Kodagu district administration stopped the operations by special teams to trace them on August 22 Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy wrote to the State government to consider it a special case and release ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the family members of the two people who went missing.
So, Annies did not receive any communication from state government yet. District administration had sought funds for permanent restoration of the floods and landslide affected infrastructure, desilting of major and minor streams in the district.
And while many active landslides are being identified, funds are being sought for permanent rehabilitation of people in vulnerable areas like Aiyappa hills too. Kodagu received 1926mm of rainfall from January to August this year, which is the third highest rainfall since past five years.
During the same period, last year it received 2192mm of rainfall, 3464mm of rainfall in 2018. Around 17 people died, four people went missing and 8,211 people were shifted to 50 relief centres during 2019, and 19 people died and one person went missing and 7594 people were rescued .