Karnataka: Dams opened as water levels rise in many rivers
As heavy rains battered several districts in the southern state of Karnataka, dams were opened to avoid flooding in many rivers, that are already flowing above the danger mark. The state government has released Rs. 50 crore for initial flood relief work as the districts of Kodagu, Gokarna, Chickmangaluru, Hassan, and Mysuru witnessed heavy rainfall. Here are more details.
According to NDTV, the Karnataka government has opened the gates of a dam in the Uttar Kannada district to avoid flooding of the Kalinadi and Kadra rivers. Reportedly, several other dams have been opened as many rivers are flowing above the danger mark. Landslides have also been reported in the Kodagu district, the source of the Cauvery river, and along the Goa-Karnataka border.
Heavy rains have been reported in Kodagu, Gokarna, Chickmangaluru, Hassan, and Mysuru districts while the coastal districts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have also been badly hit. The northern part of the state is also witnessing heavy rainfall with Belgavi, which borders Maharashtra, also getting affected. According to the forecast, more heavy rains and thunderstorms are expected to follow in Karnataka.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director CS Patil said, "Red alert has been announced in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Chickamagalur, Shivamogga, Kodagu, and Hassan due to heavy rainfall in the region in the last two-three days."
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who is currently undergoing treatment for COVID-19, has directed Rs. 50 crore towards initial flood relief work. He said that more funds will be released. The CM has asked his ministers to remain in their constituencies and survey the affected areas. The ministers have also been allowed to take independent decisions on emergency work.
Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan said, "We will ensure people are safe. We have alerted people living in low-lying areas. The Chief Minister is also monitoring the situation from the hospital." He added that the state had prepared for the rains ahead of time.
Meanwhile, the Opposition has criticized the state government's handling of the situation. Former CM and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, who is also undergoing treatment for COVID-19, said, "There is a heavy downpour in various parts of Karnataka, disrupting livelihoods of people. The government has failed to come to their rescue." Siddaramaiah urged the government to immediately identify shelter homes and relocate people from high-risk areas.