While people from flood-affected areas in several parts of the State have been demanding flood protection measures for years, Holenarasipur town, which has never seen floods in the recent past, has a flood-protection wall constructed at a cost of Rs. 35.91 crore.
The construction of the 2-km-long flood-protection wall along the banks of the Hemavati river has been completed. However, neither the residents of the town nor the official records substantiate the need for this project. No resident in the town remembers floods that have affected life or properties in his or her lifetime.
The Minor Irrigation Department took up the project in 2012–13.
Soon after the work began, K. Narasannaiah, a resident of the town, sought details of floods that had occurred, property lost and compensation paid, under the Right to Information Act.
But the Holenarasipur tahsildar in his reply dated April 20, 2012 stated that his office had no information about floods.
A similar application was submitted to the Right Bank Canal Division of the Hemavati Reservoir Project of the Water Resources Department.
The response from the officer was that there were no reports of floods in the town since 1999.
The work includes construction a wall along the river bank, a walkway and beautification work around the wall.
N. Nagaraj, Executive Engineer, Minor Irrigation Department, told The Hindu that the project was taken up as roads were flooded whenever the river rose.
“Considering the safety of the people, the project was conceived. Now it is on the verge of completion,” he said.
S.H. Mohan Kumar, an advocate, who has been in Holenarasipur for the last four decades, says he does not remember loss of cattle or property owing to floods in the town.
“There is no document in the Holenarasipur taluk office or the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Hassan to show that the town was flooded and that compensation was paid. I don’t remember any loss of property because of floods. The project was sanctioned only at the behest of powerful politicians,” he said.
Holenarasipur has been represented by Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Revanna since 2004.