Just two months after going through devastating floods, Karnataka is yet again hit by heavy rains and is in the grip of the fear of floods. Times of India reported, “Five persons, including two boys were killed and properties and crops worth hundreds of crores of rupees were damaged as torrential rain triggered a fear of floods as several rivers, especially in North Karnataka, are in spate.” According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), “North and South-interior regions of the state are to receive heavy to very-heavy rainfall in the next 3-4 days.”
Belagavi, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Koppal are expected to receive very heavy rainfall. These districts in the Mumbai-Karnataka region are still recovering from the floods that hit these regions in August. As more rain is expected as per the prediction of the IMD, this may cause more losses. The IMD has issued a red alert (highest alert for issuing heavy rainfall warning) for the coastal districts of Udupi, Uttar Kannada and Dakshina Kannada; and 20 other districts have been issued an orange alert (“be prepared to face any situation arising out of severe weather conditions”).
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This means that these rains could trigger floods again in the northern parts of the state. A notice issued by the Central Water Commission’s Flood Forecast Monitoring Directorate noted that both Ghataprabha and Krishna rivers are breaching danger levels. The notice read, “River Ghataprabha at Gokak falls in Belgaum district of Karnataka continues to flow in severe situation of 06.00 hts today. At 06:00 hrs, it was flowing at a level of 542.02 m with falling trend which is 0.02m above its danger level of 542.0 m and 4.86 below its previous High Flood Level (HFL) of 546.88m (2005-08-23).”
According to a Livemint report, “Uttara Kannada recorded 35.7 mm of rainfall on Monday as against the normal of 3.3mm. While the neighbouring Udupi recorded 52.4mm of rain as against a normal of 3.8 mm. Belagavi recorded 58 .. of rains on Monday as against a normal of 3.7 mm while Haveri recorded 61.2 mm of rainfall as against a normal of 3.8 mm. Bagalkote recorded 52.1 mm of rains on Monday as against a normal of 2.4 mm.”
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Heavy rainfall continue to hit Bellary and Davangere. The routes connecting the regions of Raichur, Bidal, Kalburgi and, Andhra Pradesh and Mantralaya are all submerged, reported Kannada dailyl Prajavani.
Even before the promises made by the Yeddyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state could be fulfilled or Modi-led central government could release sufficient flood relief funds to handle the damage and loss resulted by the previous flood; the state, as can be seen above is witnessing another similar natural disaster. The August floods in Karnataka are touted to have caused losses to the tune of Rs. 50,000 crore and around 103 taluks in 22 districts have been badly hit with over 6.9 lakh hectares of crop loss. Around 75,317 houses have been damaged due to the rains. After two long months of waiting, the central government had announced the release of a meagre amount of Rs. 1,200 crore as flood relief fund for Karnataka.
According to a Prajavani report, 1,12,483 families have been given Rs. 10,000 each, while 3,000 families have not received this meagre amount as well. The crops and agricultural land have been hit badly; and crops grown in total of 2,21,428 hectares are destroyed, no relief fund for crop loss have been announced so far. Reportedly, six farmers have committed suicide in the district owing to crop loss and increased pressure to repay loans.
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