Kodagu may be in the news as it has received three times more than the average rains this monsoon. But, in terms of damage to roads, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts have suffered more.
As per the district-wise summary prepared by the State Disaster Management Cell, 547.35 kms of state highways and major district roads have borne the brunt of heavy rains in Dakshina Kannada district and, the losses caused in the last week of July is estimated to be Rs 29.89 crore. In Uttara Kannada district, rains have left 647.88 kms of road non-motorable and the loss estimated is Rs 17.52 crore. In another coastal district of Udupi, 114 kms of roads have been damaged, causing a loss of Rs four crore.
Besides, 39 bridges/culverts have been damaged resulting in a loss of Rs 2.09 crore in Dakshina Kannada. In Uttara Kannada, 109 bridges/culverts have been damaged and the estimated loss is Rs 3.67 crore. In Kodagu, 22.1 kms of roads have been damaged and it requires Rs 1.84 crore for their repair.
Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited has been entrusted with the development and maintenance of the road between Mani and Kushalnagar in Kodagu district on State Highway 88. The work has been taken up in three packages and the last package is being implemented.
The maintenance period by the contractors is three years. Repair of roads during the maintenance period is the responsibility of the contractors. The first stage covering 89 kms from Mysore to Kushalnagar has been completed and also the maintenance contract period is over. The work on the second stage – from Kushalnagar to Mani – has been completed but the maintenance period is yet to conclude.
The sliding of embankment had caused extensive damage to the state highway halting vehicular movement in the recent weeks. The road has been damaged over 200 metres-stretch at two places. Now, light motor vehicles are being allowed to ply as temporary repairs have been done.
Official sources said that they are still not sure when the movement of heavy motor vehicles would resume on this stretch.
A technical experts’ team, which had inspected the damaged stretch, is yet to make suggestions to find a permanent solution to the problem.
The government has, so far, identified 1,260.89 kms of roads and properties damaged across the state and, the loss is Rs 53.34 crore.
According to V S Prakash, director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Committee, rains have subdued even in the coast and Malnad regions. However, isolated rains are occurring in some districts.
But, there is severe paucity of rain in Kolar, Chikballapur, Tumkur, Ramanagara and Bangalore districts.
“We already had two successive droughts in these districts. Cultivation has suffered because farmers depend on ground water in these arid districts. The districts have received less than 30 per cent below normal rains. Majority of the tanks are empty,” he said.