Govt gears up, rescue ops on as heavy rain batters K’taka
Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday took stock of the incessant downpour in the state and directed all district-in-charge and MLAs to return, and oversee relief and rescue operations in their respective constituencies.
“I direct all district in-charge ministers and MLAs to be present in their respective districts and constituencies to oversee rescue and relief efforts being carried out by district administrations,” the 75-year-old tweeted.
Talking to reporters in Bengaluru, the chief minister said he is in constant touch with the administrations in various districts.
“I have spoken to all the deputy commissioners (DCs) of the districts where heavy rains have been reported. The DCs have told me that they are releasing water (from the reservoirs) and no damage has been done so far,” he said.
Yediyurappa added that deputy chief minister Govind Karjol, who is in north Karnataka, has been directed to keep a watch on the flood-affected areas till July 25. “We are ready to face any situation with all help extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
Heavy downpour has been reported across the state and the regions in the coastal and north Karnataka are the worst affected.
Following a rise in the water level in Krishna river, the chief minister said he spoke to the deputy commissioner of Belagavi district and directed officials to shift people and domestic animals from the banks of the river to safer areas.
Officials on Friday said the shutters of Renuka Sagar Dam in Belagavi district may be opened any time as the water level stood at 2,069 feet against its capacity of 2,079 feet due to the heavy downpour. The inflow of water into the dam was over 33,000 cusecs and the outflow could go up to around 20,000 cusecs, officials said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra opened the gates of Koyna Dam to release around 20,000 cusecs of water into Koyna river, a tributary of Krishna river which flows in northern Karnataka.
Parts of the Belagavi-Kolhapur national highway remained shut due to the heavy downpour.
Rajashree, a resident of Belagavi district, said the van in which she was travelling along with 10 others were stranded in Nippani after the vehicle got partially submerged in the water.
“We were returning home after visiting a relative when the road got flooded. Since it was 11.30 pm, we couldn’t ascertain the depth of the water. The vehicle began moving slowly but soon stopped after water entered it,” she said.
It was not until police arrived that the stranded group was rescued.
Several buses and vehicles were diverted from Yamagarani checkpost after parts of the national highway got flooded near Nippani. Superintendent of police Lakshman Nimbaragi requested officers in Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Davangere, Haveri and Dharwad not to allow vehicular movement towards Maharashtra via Belagavi.
The incessant downpour in the past two days also resulted in property destruction in some parts of the state. While two schools in Joida and Mungod taluk in Uttara Kannada district collapsed, another three in Dharwad taluk partially came down.
Six bridges were also submerged along Krishna river. While Pandora, Kaneri and Kali rivers are overflowing, at least 120 villages in four districts are totally inundated.
The water level in Gangavali river that flows within the western part of the state is also on the rise, creating flood-like situation in the low-lying areas of Ankola taluk.
A transport link between Yellapur and Ankola was also damaged.
Railway services were also impacted due to the heavy rains. Konkan Railway that connects the state to Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka cancelled several trains. All services towards the north were either suspended or rescheduled, according to a Konkan Railway communique.