Flash flood memories still haunt many
Jyothi Gokhale and her mother at Kadamanagundi in Aanadkka under Malavanthige Gram Panchayat in Belthangady taluk faced some anxious moments when gushing water from the Western Ghats swept through their one acre arecanut plantation damaging it on Saturday morning.
“It was at about 6 a.m. The gushing water resulting from the heavy rain created a deep channel in the middle of our plantation besides flooding the plantation with sludge,” she told The Hindu on the phone. “The damage is extensive,” she said.
The plantation is about 3.5 k.m. away from Didupe which was also hit by the flash floods of August 9, 2019, with other areas including Aanadkka, Parlamakki, Nandikkad, Singanar, Tulapule, Aggapal, Kajakke, and Killuru, on the foothills of the ghats under Mittabagilu and Malavanthige gram panchayats.
Last year’s flash floods on the tributaries of the Netravati which brought huge boulders, trees, tree trunks, sludge and other debris and damaged properties extensively, still haunt people.
“We have been living at Kadamanagundi for over two decades but have never faced the flood situation like last year’s. We don’t know what is in store this time,” she said.
Shivakumar Shivaraj, an IT professional turned farmer from the same village, said that some more arecanut plantations have been hit by the sludge now due to overflowing streams and tributaries.
Mr. Shivaraj said that the State government should make it clear through a study whether it is safe to continue farming, building houses and living on the foothill areas as the threat of landslips on the ghat portion has not been overcome.
He said that if the government made it clear then the local people living on the foothills could take a decision on whether to make further investments in farming or not as the upper reaches still have some cracks.