Bengaluru, Aug 12 : Even as the flood levels in the worst affected Krishna basin in Karnataka showed improvement with marginal decrease in the discharge from Maharashtra, there was also some respite in the flood water level in the Cauvery basin. The death toll in Karnataka had reached 42 after the three weeks of deluge due to severe floods, landslips and other calamities during the last three weeks.
While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi again visited the affected Wayanad in Kerala today, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa took a tour of Mysuru and Chamarajanagara districts where the flood level in Cauvery River remained high. Flood level in Kapila came down but due to higher discharge from Cauvery Reservoir at Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam in Mandya district remained high. Over 2 lakh cusecs of water was flowing from the Karnataka dams towards Tamil Nadu as reported by the officials.
The dam level at KRS which reached near brim at 122.3 feet today against the full level of 124.8 ft, the Reservoir is receiving a record-quantum of 2,04,300 cubic feet per second (cusecs) inflow from upstream dams and catchment areas. The augmented discharge of 1,63,944 cusecs from the KRS has caused panic among residents living in low-lying areas along its course with the water entering agricultural fields. According to Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL) officials this was the record high inflow being received at KRS which had never 2 lakh cusecs in the history.
The KRS storage has significantly increased to the near FRL in just 11 days. The gross storage capacity of the KRS was 44.322 tmcft at 6 a.m. on Sunday. While the maximum live storage is 45.051 tmcft., the full gross storage capacity of KRS is 49.452 tmcft. The inflow into KRS is however, expected to decrease from today as there was some respite in the intensity of rains lashing its catchment areas in Kodagu, officials said. Meanwhile, the heavy discharge from the KRS and a huge flow in the upstream Hemavati River (a tributary of the Cauvery) have inundated hundreds of acres of agricultural land in K.R. Pet, Pandavapura, and Srirangapatna taluks.
The historical Wellesley Bridge at Srirangapatna and the Cauvery Bridge at Mahadevapura had turned into ‘tourist spots’ with many people thronging to have a glimpse of the overflowing Cauvery. The huge volume of water in the Cauvery has submerged the boating area at Sri Boredevara Temple near Doddegowdana Koppalu. Police personnel have been deputed there to prevent the entry of visitors.
Meanwhile the Kabini reservoir inflow reduced to 52,944 cusecs which was more than 1.25 lakh since last four days, while the discharge was restricted to 20,000 cusecs this morning. The level is reading at 2280 feet against maximum level of 2284 feet. With flood situation receding in Kabini the National Highway between Mysuru-Ooty, which was closed for four days, would be possibly opened today.
According to Deputy Commissioner Abhiram Sankar the intensity of rain had come down in Wayanad, the catchment area of Kabini since yesterday and it is expected that the flood levels will come down further. A report from Kodagu said Harangi across Cauvery reservoir was also receiving lesser inflow that was reduced to 9000 cusecs while discharge was just 4000 cusces, today.
Mysuru district administration, which has been collecting relief material for flood-hit victims, will be giving away a ‘home kit’ to displaced victims across the district on their return to their homes. Donors are contributing the material at Town Hall in Mysuru since Friday. The kit will be given when displaced victims who had taken shelter at relief camps, return to their respective homes, Sankar said.
Each kit comprises 5 kg of rice, 1 kg each of pulses, sugar, iodized salt, 1 litre of cooking oil, half a kg of chilli powder, two bedsheets, two mats/carpets, plates, a tumbler and cooking pots, a pack of bleaching powder and 1 litre of phenyl, he added. The Mysore administration had opened opened 32 relief centres in the affected areas and 1,961 people have been shifted to these centres. Blankets, mats, sarees, dhotis, soaps, toothpaste and brushes were distributed to 182 families.
A total of 822 houses have collapsed in Mysuru district, according to official sources. Large parts of Kodagu district continued to reel under the impact of floods though there were signs of the rains abating since last 24 hours. The number of villages battered by floods has gone up, with the district administration identifying 79 across Kodagu that have been affected by the rain, which was nearly 468 per cent in excess for the week of August 5 to 11. For the 24-hour period ending 8.30 a.m. on Sunday, the district received 60.68 mm of rain, with intermittent drizzle throughout the day.
In all, 6,003 persons from 1,970 families have been evacuated to safety and are lodged in 42 relief centres in the district. Transportation and movement of vehicles has been badly hit across Kodagu because of landslides and overflowing water. As many as 26 important roads linking Madikeri with the hinterland and other roads connecting towns with rural areas have been closed for traffic, according to Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy. The natural calamity has claimed nine lives and damaged 139 houses partially and 33 houses completely.
The seasonal rainfall deficiency for the district, which was around 47 per cent, has now been completely bridged in a span of five days, but this has only added to the woes of residents. The search operations to trace eight missing persons in Heggala village of Virajpet taluk continued with the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, and Fire and Emergency Services personnel fanned out in the area to trace them. Some persons stranded near Koppa Gate close to Kushalnagar were rescued and moved to safety.
As many as 741 people have been rescued from across the district ever since the natural calamity unfolded last week. While 501 persons were rescued by various agencies as on Sunday, another 240 persons were secured from remote locations and shifted to relief camps by the NDRF, SDRF, local police and Army personnel. Authorities said they would scourge all the vulnerable areas to ensure no one is left behind.
There is a complete ban on movement of vehicles on the Kannur-Virajpet-Makuta State Highway 91 and Galibeedu-Pati-Kaluru road, according to the district administration. Other major roads that are closed due to landslips include Madikeri-Kushalnagar road, Moornadu-Virajpet road, Napoklu-Parani road, Bhagamandala-Madikeri road, Bhagamandala-Talacauvery road, Kutta-Srimangala road, Virajpet-Betri road, Madikeri-Mukkodlu-Kallumutlu road etc.UNI