Situation in north Karnataka continues to cause concern

The flooded government school at Sunnal village in Belagavi district on Sunday.  

The release of Krishna waters from Maharashtra kept the basin districts in north-west and north-east Karnataka on tenterhooks on Sunday.

In Khanapur, Susheela Barmadi, 85, was washed away in the Malaprabha river, taking the death toll to two this week.

While the water released from Maharashtra decreased to 1.3 lakh cusecs by Sunday, following reduced rainfall in the catchment areas of the Krishna in Maharashtra, inputs from tributaries and streams in Belagavi and Bagalkot districts ensured that the inflow into the Almatti reservoir was at the rate of 1.65 lakh cusecs.

Officials expect the inflow to increase if it starts raining again in Maharashtra or western Karnataka. “If rainfall increases in Maharashtra, the inflow into Almatti is expected to go up to around 1.8 lakh to 1.9 lakh cusecs by Monday,” officials said.

Belagavi and Khanapur taluks witnessed reduced rainfall on Sunday. But the inflow into Navilu Tirtha dam on the Malaprabha near Saundatti increased slightly to 22,600 cusecs, owing to input from streams that were overflowing owing to heavy rainfall for four days. The Malaprabha waters entered fields in Ramdurg, Sureban, Khatakanur, Alur, and Kulgeri. Water also entered the streets in parts of Munavalli and Ramdurg.

In Bagalkot, 14 bridges and barrages were under water. Officials have evacuated residents in one village and are planning to shift more if the inflow increases. Water entered Aski and Nandagaon villages and the residents were shifted to safer areas. To reduce the spread of backwaters, the outflow was maintained at the rate of 2.3 lakh cusecs till Sunday evening. “This could go up exponentially if the inflow increases beyond 10%,” an irrigation engineer said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol said the government was deploying two NDRF teams for rescue and relief operations in Bagalkot district. “We are appealing to the people living on the banks of rivers to move to safer places. When water recedes, they can return,” he said.

Mr. Karjol said water release from Koyna dam in Maharashtra reached 2.5 lakh cusecs by Sunday. “Dams in Almatti and Narayanpur were discharging additional water to prevent floods. But the possibility of a flood cannot be ruled out at this stage,” he said.

Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar visited flood-affected villages in Badami, Mudhol, and Jamkhandi taluks of the district. He met the residents and also held meetings with officials to review the situation.

The officials have asked residents of vulnerable villages not to venture into the Krishna for fishing or other reasons. A bridge near Sheelahalli village in Lingasugur taluk has submerged. Another bridge between Kollur in Shahpur taluk of Yadgir district and Huvinadagi village in Deodurg taluk of Raichur district may submerge if another 50,000 cusecs was released, officials said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 9:14:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/situation-in-north-karnataka-continues-to-cause-concern/article29369322.ece

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