Bengaluru: Heavy rains in Karnataka districts that neighbor flood-ravaged Kerala have left at least 12 people dead and more than 5,000 displaced, prompting Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to question why the Centre has not come forward to offer any relief so far.
Among those killed were a mother and son, who were missing for the last four days. Leelavathi, 65, and her son 28-year-old Umesh, who were stranded in Mukodlu in rain-affected Kodagu district were declared dead in the evening. However, their bodies have not been recovered by the rescue team.
BA Saldana, a former municipality member in Hassan district, had gone to Arehalli village near Beluru to review the misery caused by rain. But his trip turned fatal as he slipped into an overflowing lake. Locals tried to rescue him, but their attempts were in vain.
As per official records, so far 12 people have died in Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Kodagu districts. Shivamogga, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts too are facing a flood-like situation.
In Kodagu, officials said 4,225 people have been rescued from 1,194 places so far, but hundreds are still missing. Out of 296 villages in the rain-affected district, 13 have been completed submerged.
The rain coupled with the landslips has also affected power supply to the district as over 3,800 electric polls have broken down, 260 transformers are submerged and power cables have snapped.
Areas like Madapura, Shuntikoppa, Chettalli, Bidalli, Shanthalli, Somvarpet, Shrimangala, Virajpet have no electricity since the last two days.
The last remaining open road link between state capital Bengaluru and Mangaluru was also cut on Monday. Heavy rains had earlier shut down Charmadi Ghat and Shiradi Ghat, leaving only Bisile Ghat as the link between the two centres. But heavy landslide in Bisile Ghat caused major damage to the road and it too had to be shut down.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy addressed the media on Monday after reviewing the situation in Kodagu. “Around 845 houses have been destroyed, 123km roads are damaged, 58 bridges, 28 government offices, 3,800 electric polls have broken down. Our officers are working round-the-clock to ensure situation comes under control,” he said.
He further said that he had sought help from Himachal Pradesh government as the state witnesses natural disasters like floods and landslides almost every year.
“In Himachal Pradesh, every year they face flood-like situations. So I have requested their assistance as they are well trained to handle the situation. I got good response from them and they agreed to extend all help,” Kumaraswamy said.
The CM also announced another Rs 100 crore as part of flood compensation, to add to the Rs 100 crore announced earlier.
He also questioned why nobody from the central government had visited the state so far.
“I have requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi's help. Defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman should have visited the state to review the situation, but she has not come. I don't want to comment on this," he added.
He further said that the government will keep victims of flood away from paying tax.
Garuda commandos, who have been deployed in rescue operations, managed to rescue a 62-year-old women, Maramma, who was stranded near the Kabini water reservoir. The reservoir has reached its maximum capacity and overflowing water has created huge risk in the downstream villages. Many have already shifted to safe places and rescue operation is underway.
Around 97 Pourakarmikas of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) have also reached Kodagu to help in relief works and to install moveable bio-toilets in Kodagu areas where the rescue camps have been set up.