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Even as rains recede, heavy inflow from Maharashtra dams floods north Karnataka

On Friday, CM BS Yediyurappa directed district administrations to shift residents of villages in river basins to relief camps.

Although rains have receded in north Karnataka, floods have not abated in several districts including Vijayapura, Kalaburagi and Yadgir on Friday. Heavy discharge of water from two dams in Maharashtra has submerged around 400 villages in the three districts, bringing daily life to a standstill.

According to the district administration in Kalaburagi, the inflow of water from the Sonna Barrage in Vijayapura has resulted in floods in the district. Meanwhile, the Vijayapura district administration said that 5.11 lakh cusecs of water was released on Thursday from the Ujjaini Dam in Maharashtra, which resulted in heavy inflow into the Sonna Barrage constructed across the Bhima River. This inflow increased to 5.4 lakh cusecs on Friday. 

The heavy discharge of water from the Sonna Barrage has flooded 150 villages in Kalaburagi located in Jewargi, Chittapura, Afzalpur, and Sedam taluk. “These are the villages located in the Bhima river basin,” officials said. In Kalaburagi, the Malkhed bridge and Dandoti bridge were submerged completely, cutting off inter-district connectivity. However, the floodwaters near Dandoti receded on Friday, officials added. 

In Chittapur taluk’s Sannati village, over 40 residents were stranded on Thursday night as the village was partially flooded. Residents of Sannati village, who were being rescued on Friday, said that they waited on their rooftops and were crying for help. “We have shifted them to school buildings or temples where there is space to maintain physical distance,” officials with the Kalaburagi district administration said. 

In Vijayapura, around 200 villages in Chadchan, Indi, Sindhagi and Alamelu taluks have flooded. In Alamelu taluk’s Tharapur, the flood submerged the entire village. While locals said that rescue personnel had arrived on Thursday, not all residents were able to get out of their flooded homes. On Friday, Fire and Emergency Service personnel began rescue and rehabilitation operations in Tharapur. 

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“This is a problem we face every year during monsoon. This year, especially, it has been very unfortunate. The toor dal, jowar, cotton and onion crops have been damaged completely. The ministers and MLAs come here to ask for our votes but when we need them, they don’t help us at all. Who will find a solution to this problem we face?” questioned Shivappa Lawate, a resident of Tharapur, who was awaiting rescue since Thursday night. 

The Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Tungabhadra, Almatti and Narayanapura, reservoirs were filled to the brim affecting Yadgir, Raichur, Ballari, Bidar, Vijayapura, Bagalkote, Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Gadag, Koppal, Haveri and Dharwad districts in north Karnataka on Thursday. Although the floods have not abated, it was Yadgir, Kalaburagi and Vijayapura that were worst hit on Friday, officials with the Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre said. 

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On Friday, Chief  Minister BS Yediyurappa held a meeting with the Deputy Commissioners of the 12 flood-hit districts. The state government has released Rs 85.46 crore for relief and rehabilitation works. In a statement, the Chief Minister’s office said that Yediyurappa has directed the district administration to shift all residents in villages near the river basins prone to flooding to relief camps, which they are currently in the process of setting up. As many as 12 NDRF teams have been formed to carry our rescue and relief works. 

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