Karnataka: Rains over a week kill 12, crop loss leaves farmers in lurch

Farmers and residents of Shivamogga, one of the worst-affected districts, vented their anger on cabinet minister KC Naryana Gowda on Monday when he visited the region.
According to data, over 7,000 hectares of agriculture crops and 5,736 hectares of horticulture crops were damaged due to the rains in Karnataka. (PTI)
According to data, over 7,000 hectares of agriculture crops and 5,736 hectares of horticulture crops were damaged due to the rains in Karnataka. (PTI)
Published on May 24, 2022 02:26 AM IST
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Bengaluru

At least 12 people and over 400 animals died in the recent unseasonal rains across Karnataka between May 15-21, according to the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).

According to data, over 7,000 hectares of agriculture crops and 5,736 hectares of horticulture crops were damaged due to the rains, adding to the hardships of the people who are yet to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic-induced economic slowdown.

Several parts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru, have witnessed unseasonal downpour, inundating crops and damaging homes.

A video of an unnamed farmer from Koppal district crying and cursing his fate in his now flooded farm has gone viral.

“What is this? Is this our fate. There is no one to look at this or take care of us. The water has drowned our entire maize crop,” the farmer is heard saying while weeping and expressing his helplessness.

Farmers from across the state have expressed their despair due to the rains which hit their crops and incomes.

“Farmers whose crops have been destroyed by excess rains are contemplating ending their own lives. Such is the situation and the Union Bank has sent us notices to repay the loans. What kind of justice is this?” asked Purshottam Gowda, a farmer from Ballari.

“These notices ask farmers to pay back loans. This issue has come to my notice and I will take it up at the district level unit of the bank and ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the farmers; I will attempt to resolve the issue,” Anirudh Shravan, the district collector of Ballari, told Kannada TV news channels on Monday.

Farmers and residents of Shivamogga, one of the worst-affected districts, vented their anger on cabinet minister KC Naryana Gowda on Monday when he visited the region.

“The sudden rains have caused a lot of damage. In order to prevent any such problems in the monsoons, precautionary measures should be taken and instructions to this effect have been given to officials,” Gowda said.

“Our government has never fallen behind in providing relief to adversely impacted people. From the time of BS Yediyurappa, we have been providing immediate assistance to the people. We will stand with the people always,” he said.

Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has named eight of his cabinet colleagues to handle the eight zones of Bengaluru, Karnataka’s biggest revenue earner, where rains had brought back to limelight the civic apathy as waterlogging, floods, potholes and damage to households and property added to the plight of its over 12 million residents.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Monday said that it was assessing damages in the city and relief was being paid out at the earliest.

“There are 3,653 homes that have been damaged. Of them 40% have been paid 25,000 and the remaining 60% would be paid by this evening,” said, S Rangappa, the special commissioner of the BBMP on Monday.

He added that there were 2,623 instances of encroachments of stormwater drains (SWDs), of which only 693 were pending to be resolved or cleared. He said some of these cases were in court and it would take some time to resolve them legally.

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