Minister pulls up officials of the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Revanna pulls up officials of the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited
Losses estimated to be around Rs. 1.5 croreNine teams to assess extent of damage to houses and crops
H.D. Kote taluk (MYSORE Dist): Water is receding from low-lying areas downstream of the Taraka reservoir at Taraka village which were inundated following collapse of the dam's crest gate on Friday night.
On Sunday, officials started assessing the damage in the area. Traffic on roads downstream resumed as the bridges that were inundated were opened following the decreasing water flow.
According to officials, crops such as cotton, sugarcane, tobacco and paddy have been lost in areas downstream owing to flooding following the gate collapse. The loss has been estimated to be around Rs. 1.5 crore.
The water flow, officials said, would stop automatically after 1.73 tmc ft of water flows out of the reservoir. Irrigation Department official Ramakrishna, who is an expert on crest gate, has been asked to submit a report on the incident.
Sources told The Hindu that it may take at least one week to procure a new gate and install it at the reservoir.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Public Works and Power, H.D. Revanna who visited the reservoir on Sunday took the officials to task for not taking precautions to prevent the accident. Senior officials of the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam faced the wrath of the Minister who had arrived at Taraka on directions from Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
The Minister questioned the officials on the rationale behind not releasing water into the canals even after water level in the reservoir reached the brim.
Mr. Revanna told presspersons: "I have asked the Deputy Commissioner to write to the Irrigation Secretary seeking suspension of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited Chief Engineer (Irrigation South), Devaraj, on charges of dereliction of duty."
He said an inquiry would be conducted against Mr. Devaraj. The official had not visited Taraka reservoir during the last three months. Pending inquiry, the official would be suspended, he added.
Meanwhile, nine teams headed by village accountants would be constituted to assess the extent of damage caused to crops and houses by inundation. Mr. Revanna said these nine teams would have to submit a report to the Deputy Commissioner within two days after which the Deputy Commissioner would visit the area before awarding compensation.
The Minister said, "Normally Rs. 500 per acre is given as compensation to those who have suffered losses. However, I have asked the officials to be flexible and award compensation that would cover at least 50 per cent of the losses."
Later, addressing the public that had gathered near the reservoir, Mr. Revanna said they would try to release compensation amount immediately. He also promised that the water that was remaining in the reservoir would be released for irrigation.
Deputy Commissioner S. Selvakumar, H.D. Kote MLA M.P. Venkatesh and a host of senior Irrigation Department officials accompanied the Minister. Earlier, Mysore MP, C.H. Vijayshankar visited the dam site.