Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman today arrived at flood ravaged Belagavi district, even as the flood situation continued to be grave in North and Sourh Karnataka Districts including those coming under Western Ghat districts. The death toll in flood related incidents was put at 24 in the State.
Addressing a press conference after conducting aerial survey for the third day, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who is camping in Belagavi since last three days, said that as many as 24 human loss was reported and 224 cattle had died in the devastation.
He said that the State is witnessing extreme damages to the properties including government and private properties, more than 2.35 lakh people stranded in flood waters were rescued by various rescue teams including from Indian Army, NDRF, SDRF, Fire Fighters, NGOs etc., and standing crops in 1.5 lakh hectares of land were washed out. Hundreds of houses were either collapsed or partially damaged.
He said that according to preliminary estimation the loss was to the extent of Rs 6,000 Crore and the Karnataka government had requested the union government to release Rs 3000 Crore as immediate relief take up rehabilitation works as there is need for constructing new houses to those who have lost shelter due to floods. So far the central government has released Rs 200 crore.
He said that gruel centre and cow shelters were opened in all most all the affected places and basic necessities including food, water and fodder for cateles were ensured in the Centers.
Ms Sitharaman went round the affected areas in Belagavi District where the situation continues to be grim as entire district is reeling under severe flood situation as water has entered all most entire District. Gokak town is virtually covered with flood water and the famous Gokak Falls is overflowing.
She gave patient hearing and heard grievances of affected people who were housed in gruel centers. She assured all help from both Union and State government and asked them not to lose heart. She collected details of situation from the officials.
Hundreds of people are taking shelter in the Rehabilitation and Gruel shelters opened in the affected places.
In the south, Kabini river received unprecedented inflows from its catchment areas in Wayanad in neighbouring Kerala and authorities stepped up the water release from the dam situated in Mysuru district to 1.2 lakh cusecs down stream the river which joints Cauvery.
The Cauvery river also received huge inflows surpassing over one lakh cusecs and the main dam Krishnarajasagar received copious inflows with level reaching over 110 feet this morning agains the full level of 124.8 feet.
Stating that there is no shortage of funds for taking up the works, Yediyurappa said that he has released Rs 100 crore yesterday and have asked officials to take up rescue and relief works on war footing.
The Chief Minister expressed confidence of the situation limping back to normalcy within next 3 to 4 days and appealed to the people to face the situation boldly assuring all help from the State government in their struggle.
He said that in all 16 districts are facing grave flood situation and more than 80 taluks were affected.
Yediyurappa said that has asked party Legislators and MPs to remain in their constituencies and monitor rescue and rehabilitation works. He has formed five teams with former Ministers and senior leaders to visit flood ravaged Districts and immediately bring to his knowledge about the difficulty, if any, faced.
Road and Train connectivity to neighbouring Goa and Maharashtra continued to be affected badly as fresh landslides reported in Charmadi and Shiradi Ghat sections and flood waters flowing over tracks and in many places the earth beneath the traces have caved in.
A Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) team led by former Minister and senior Congress leader H K Patil had a tough time in reaching flood affected Bagalkote district for on the spot study. As their journey by road was prevented due to flood waters flowing on the roads above knee level, they somehow reached their destination by travelling in a Goods train.