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Madikeri MLA inspects rain-hit villages

By Our Staff Correspondent

The Madikeri MLA, K.G. Bopaiah (third from right), inspecting a flooded paddy field in a remote village in Kodagu district.

MUKKODLU (KODAGU DT.), AUG. 10 . The remote villages of Mutlu, Hammiyala, Hachinad and Mukkodlu in Madikeri taluk and Surlabbi and Garwale in Somwarpet taluk have suffered extensive damage in the recent rain in Kodagu district.

A number of trees have fallen and roads have been devastated. Two bus-shelters have been damaged. Landslips have destroyed roads at Mukkodlu. At Mutlu, paddy in large areas is under water.

These crops may be destroyed leaving the hapless villagers in the lurch. Makeshift hanging bridges at Mukkodlu have collapsed, cutting off the village from the neighbouring ones. The overflowing Hammiyala river, which inundated roads and paddy fields for over two days recently, have receded. Vast tracts of paddy fields at Mukkodlu have been destroyed.

The Madikeri MLA, K.G. Bopaiah, who inspected the affected areas, said he would place a report before the Revenue Secretary during his visit to Madikeri. He said the Government should release at least Rs. 25 crores to Kodagu as relief. Mr. Bopaiah urged the Madikeri Tahsildar, R.G. Palkar, who was present, to prepare a report on the losses.

Special officer

Losses in Madikeri taluk itself could be more than Rs. 10 crores. The three MLAs from Kodagu had submitted a representation to the State Government recently on the extent of losses, he said. He had urged the Government to post a special officer to Kodagu to assess the damage, he said.

He said the Government should do away with cumbersome procedures to release funds to the affected villagers. The Revenue Department should be authorised to sanction compensation on the spot.

He visited the "tantipala" at Avandi in Mukkodlu where a hanging bridge had collapsed even as 11 villagers were repairing the bridge about a month ago. All the 11 persons had fallen into the Hammiyala river, but they escaped. The hanging bridge was the only means for schoolchildren to reach the other side where the school was located. Three persons among those who swam to safety after the fall — Ganapathi, Thimmaiah and Devaiah — were present to narrate their harrowing experience. The villagers of Mutlu complained that an irrigation project taken up by the Minor Irrigation Department to provide water for irrigation was not functioning because of substandard work carried out by the contractor.

Tank construction

Mr. Bopaiah inspected the paddy crops that were submerged by "Kumbipole" waters a few days ago. He inspected a tank under construction to provide water to cattle at Mutlu following allegations of misuse of funds in the execution of the work.

The Bharatiya Janata Party Madikeri taluk unit president, Shanteyanda Ravi Kushalappa; the BJP Kodagu Krishi Morcha president, Ravi Basappa; the senior party functionary M.B. Devaiah; the Madikeri taluk unit general secretary, Kishore Kumar; the district unit secretary, Bellu Somaiah; the Yuva Morcha leader Manu Muthappa; and the office-bearers, Prakash, Biddappa, and Lohit, were present.

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