Madikeri, Sep 22: This year, Kodagu district administration has estimated that Rs 1,700 crore was needed for rebuilding Kodagu from two back-to-back calamities.
Coffee growers in Kodagu are staring at yet another difficult year and may end up with recurring distress from last week’s flood and the landslips, district officials sources told UNI.
Rain fury from the start of this month has destroyed plantations and incessant rainfall has resulted in extensive berry-dropping. In the worst cases, there has been destruction of entire estates. The exact extent of damage to the standing crop is yet to be assessed, but according to initial estimates of the Kodagu district administration, 1,02,034 hectares of coffee estates have been damaged. The crop loss is pegged at Rs 53 crore.
The growers had already suffered huge losses in last year’s deluge and planters were hoping for a recovery this year. Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru planters say they need at least 10 years to redevelop the plantations and in some cases, it may take more than that.
The black pepper industry suffered losses to the tune of Rs 83 crore. The number of losses has only risen with Kodagu facing colossal damages in the wake of successive floods and the landslips.
Almost all sectors were staring at an uncertain future and the debt-stricken were mulling over leaving the district in search of jobs and livelihood.
The hotel industry and other sectors were now looking at the Union and State governments for some immediate relief – relief from GST for one year; relief from paying interest on loans for two years and a two-year moratorium from paying the principal amount.
The Kodagu Hotels, Restaurants and Resorts’ Association’s argument is that business has come to a nil and people driving the sector were in deep financial crisis. Therefore, it sought relief from the government. A memorandum on this was formally submitted to Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S Suresh Kumar when he was in Kodagu, to take it forward to the concerned through the State government.
“We have urged the Minister to take up the issue in the ensuing GST Council Meeting in Goa on September 20. Hopefully, the government will send a representative, mostly a senior Minister, to the meeting, since other parts of the State too had witnessed some of the worst floods this year,” association president B R Nagendra Prasad said. (UNI)