6 Oct :With the flood situation easing steadily, Karnataka government has now turned its focus on marshalling resources to take up relief and rehabilitation operations in the rain-ravaged northern and coastal regions.
Based on initial reports, the state has estimated that the loss caused by the floods to roads, bridges, culverts, houses, village and infrastructure and standing crops in 25 lakh hectares area amounted to Rs 16,500 crore.
Around 2.5 lakh houses have either collapsed or damaged by the torrential rains with as many as 1.8 crore people affected. The death toll as of Monday was 194.
There is let up in the rains in the past two days, giving some respite to the flood victims.
“Karnataka is reeling under unprecedented floods caused by heavy rains”, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who has camped in affected areas and been conducting aerial and overseeing rescue and relief works, said.
“This century’s most severe rain has wreaked havoc in 18 districts and has jeopardised the life of the people”, he said, adding “the rain has damaged property worth Rs 20,000 crore”.
The state has submitted a memorandum to Home Minister P Chidambaram, who on Monday conducted an aerial survey of the floot-hit areas along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, seeking Rs 16,500 crore for relief and rehabilitation works.
The state government has set up more than 1,200 rehabilitation centres and over 3.5 lakh rain and flood affected people are being provided food and temporary shelter.
The immediate task before the government is to reconstruct roads, supply drinking water, restore houses and power supply, provide health care and contain the spread of epidemic diseases in the affected areas, officials said.
The government has appealed to the people, voluntary organisations, corporate bodies, and philanthropists to donate liberally for the “noble cause of wiping tears of the flood victims”.
In this direction, the Chief Minister himself is undertaking a march on Wednesday and Thursday seeking financial help from the citizens of Bangalore.
Ministers would also do the same in the districts, where they are in-charge, and MLAs in their constituencies.
Flood situation in river Krishna easing
The flood situation in river Krishna is gradually easing with the inflow to Prakasam Barrage remaining constant and outflow from upstream Nagarjuna Sagar Dam drastically coming down on Tuesday.
From 11.1 lakh cusecs late on Monday night, flood discharge has come down to 10.80 lakh cusecs on Tuesday morning and it is expected to drop further over the next few hours, irrigation authorities said.
The discharge at Nagarjuna Sagar has come down to about seven lakh cusecs on Tuesday morning.
Though there is no threat to the left embankment of the river in Krishna district, a breach occurred at Oleru near Penumudi in Guntur district submerging the village.
The breach could not be filled immediately and villagers have been ordered to vacate it.
A 30-year-old tidal bank at Hamsaladeevi suffered a minor damage with its edge slipping but irrigation authorities, with the help of locals, immediately took corrective steps to plug the breach.
“Things are comfortable right now and there is no problem as the flood discharge is gradually reducing,” Irrigation Department Chief Engineer I S N Raju said.
Raju, however, advised some caution as there was a likelihood of the river bund edges suffering some damage and also the possibility of rear side seepage of flood water.
“We are prepared to handle the situation and prevent any damage,” he said.
Many villages still remain marooned as the heaviest flood in the century will take a few more days to recede fully. There is, however, no threat to human life as people have already been moved to relief camps, officials said.