Krishna river in spate after downpour in Maharashtra

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Krishna river

BANGALORE: Heavy rain in Maharashtra has resulted in flooding in the Krishna river in north Karnataka. Several bridges have been washed away in Belgaum district, while the Raichur administration is struggling to move people to safer places.

“As of now, the situation is under control in the district. If it continues to rain in the same manner for the next couple of days in Maharashtra, things might get worse in the district. As a precaution, we have spoken to defence authorities to keep four helicopters ready,” Belgaum deputy commissioner N Jayaram said.

Nearly 200 people were evacuated to safer places from Ingali village of Chikkodi taluk on Friday.

On Friday, following a downpour in the Koyna catchment area in Maharashtra, 12 bridges in Belgaum district went under water: seven in Chikkodi, three in Raibagh and one each in Hukkeri and Athani taluks. Alternative routes have been marked for vehicles.

“We have identified 34 villages which may be impacted. A nodal officer has been nominated to oversee the situation in these villages. We have 60 boats apart from two other which can carry 60 people at a time. Sixty persons have been evacuated from the island of Balebanna,” Jayaram said.

Police superintendent Chandraguptha said expert swimmers have been asked to be ready to tackle any emergency. Four helipads have been identified to airlift people.

The Raichur district administration is finding it difficult to convince trapped villagers to shift to safer places. About 60 people from a dozen families in Madargaddi and five families in Karakalgadd, consisting of 14 members, were trapped as their villages turned into islands. These villages were submerged after the release of around 2.5 cusecs from the Narayanpur dam following heavy rain.

Mallappa, villager of Madardaddi, said: “When there was a flood in our village in 2009, we were shifted to a safer place, but not given anything to sustain ourselves. Hence, we don’t want to leave our villages. We are ready to face any eventuality.”

Many villagers in Shahapur and Shorapur taluks of Gulbarga district face a threat of flood as the Krishna is in spate. Around 3pm on Friday, water released from the Narayanpur reservoir was flowing over the Kollur bridge, cutting off the link between Shahapur and Devadurga.

Residents of Neelakantarayanagaddi island, downstream of the Narayanpur dam in Shorapur taluk, are facing a severe shortage of foodgrains. They have stocks for just two days. Yadgir deputy commissioner FR Jamadar said there is no proposal to provide foodgrains to the residents of the islet. The administration would use a motorboat to ferry people and supplies to and from the island. The boat would be sent to Benchigaddi village, close to the island. Neelakantarayanagaddi residents can use the boat once a week, said Jamadar. However, he declined to say why foodgrains and medicines cannot be supplied.

The flood situation in the Cauvery belt has put the Mandya administration on a high alert as dam authorities have been releasing more than 55 cusecs from the KRS reservoir.

The Ranganathittu bird sanctuary, Enneholekoppalu, Balamuri, and Sangam are partially submerged. Entry of tourists has been restricted as water has reached the gate entrance of the sanctuary. All check dams built across the Cauvery, including Mahadevapura and Balamuri, are fully submerged. People who had come to Paschimavahini to immerse ashes of the dead faced a tough time as the steps leading to the river had submerged.

The Madikeri-Mysore road is blocked near Boikeri Sinchona estate because the tarred stretch has caved in. All vehicles from Madikeri are being diverted to Madapur and asked to take a deviation to Suntikoppa. Vehicles from Mysore have to take a deviation at Suntikoppa and reach Madikeri via Madapur.

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