Families in Malnad villages reel under back-to-back heavy rain, landslips

The 30-year-old house (in the background) of Prasanna Bhat at Nandodi in Sagar taluk was damaged in the heavy rain last year. This year, the house being built nearby has developed cracks following the downpour.   | Photo Credit: Sathish G.T.

Every time dark clouds gather overhead, people of Aralagodu Panchayat in Sagar taluk begin to worry. For, they have not yet come to terms with landslips and the destruction caused by heavy rain this August.

Houses were damaged and entire areca plantations disappeared as heavy rain lashed the region for three days from August 4.

Things have been particularly bad for two families of Nandodi village. The State government had sanctioned houses for the families of Sripada and Mahabalagiri as their houses were damaged during heavy rain in August 2019.

The two families were sanctioned ₹5 lakh each. But during the rain this August, the houses that were being built were also damaged. Both the families had got ₹3.5 lakh each and spent it. However, as the structures developed cracks following landslips, the gram panchayat asked them to stop construction.

Prasanna Bhat, son of Mr. Sripada, one of the beneficiaries, told The Hindu, “The old house constructed by my parents 30 years ago was damaged, and now the new one being constructed also developed cracks.” His family has shifted to Sagar.

Similarly, Mr. Mahabalagiri’s family has shifted to Kargal village.

Following landslips in the village, the district administration issued notices to 15 households nearby and asked the residents to shift.

An areca plantation that was displaced following a landslip at Arodi in Aralagodu Gram Panchayat limits in Sagar taluk.

An areca plantation that was displaced following a landslip at Arodi in Aralagodu Gram Panchayat limits in Sagar taluk.   | Photo Credit: Sathish G.T.

Land was identified for rehabilitation at Kargal. But, the residents refused to shift citing that they could not travel from 12 km to look after areca plantations.“The administration identified the only land available for rehabilitation, but people refused to move there, and gave in writing that they would stay here only,” said R. Praveen Kumar, Panchayat Development Officer of Aralagodu.

However, though they are reluctant to leave the place the families are worried about their safety. Instances of landslips have been reported whenever it rains in the area.

Areca plantation, spread over two acres, was displaced completely at Arodi village in August. Not even one areca tree survived. Somashekhar, owner of the land that was displaced, said he has no alternative land to grow areca. The landslip has taken away the plantation that earned him about ₹2 lakh a year. “I don’t know how the government will compensate my loss. The plantation is over 50 years old. Even if I am allotted an alternative land, it will take years to develop a plantation,” he added.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 8:51:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/families-in-malnad-villages-reel-under-back-to-back-heavy-rain-landslips/article32913184.ece

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