Heavy rain lashed many parts of Kolar district on Wednesday night, damaging several structures in low-lying areas.

Though the district received rain in the last couple of days, Wednesday night’s downpour took many by surprise. According to sources in the Agriculture Department, the district received an average rainfall of 22.5 mm between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

While the downpour came as a relief to farmers, who were facing the prospects of crop loss yet in another season owing to scanty rainfall, it created panic among people living in low-lying areas in Kolar town, Malur and Mulbagal.

The rain also exposed widespread encroachment of tank-bed areas as well as ‘raja kaluves’ (storm-water drains) that feed the Kolaramma tank in the town.

Wednesday’s situation forced Minister for Health and district in charge U.T. Khader to rush to the town at midnight and take stock of the condition.

Mr. Khader, accompanied by Deputy Commissioner D.K. Ravi and other senior officials, visited places such as Arahalli and Shanthinagar. A ‘ganji kendra’ was opened at Phoolsha Mohalla to provide food to the affected people. The Minister directed the district administration to get encroachments on ‘raja kaluves’ cleared.

Apart from encroachments, wild bushes and garbage had blocked raja kaluves at places such as Shanthinagar, Arahalli, Vinayaknagar and Bamboo Bazaar.

The Minor Irrigation Department is responsible for maintaining the storm-water drains.

Thursday morning saw brisk activities in many areas as earthmovers were engaged to clear the clogged raja kaluves. Garbage that had piled up on the roads was also cleared.

Mr. Ravi conducted an emergency meeting with officials and directed them to take steps get the encroachment cleared. He asked them to depute 100 staff members to conduct a survey of encroached areas and hire earthmovers for removing encroachments. The Kolar City Municipal Council should clear the clogged drains, he said.

Following this, officials, including Assistant Commissioner C.N. Manjunath and Kolar tahsildar G.R. Nagaraj started the work on identifying encroachments, with the assistance of Land Survey Department officials.

Mr. Ravi appealed to people to cooperate with the administration as the work would help increase groundwater level.

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