Losses of Rs. 1.5 billion due to rain in Karnataka


Bangalore : Karnataka will soon approach the union government for help to recover from heavy losses caused by the damage to crops, property and livestock due to heavy rainfall in the state, officials said Tuesday.

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According to Karnataka Home Minister M.P. Prakash, a delegation led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy will go to New Delhi within the next few days to meet the prime minister and seek financial help.

A team of officials led by Karnataka Chief Secretary P.B. Mahishi will also visit Maharashtra next week for talks with officials there on taking measures to prevent flooding of Karantaka in view of incessant rain in that state, particularly in the Krishna river basin area.

The heavy rain in the basin has meant copious flow of water into the Krishna river. In the last three days, over 200,000 cusecs of water has flown into the Krishna from Maharashtra.

There is already fear in Belgaum and other northern districts of Karnataka where the Krishna flows that there will be flooding if inflow from Maharashtra continues at this rate for some more days.

Prakash told reporters that the losses so far are estimated at Rs. 1.5 billion. More than 40,000 dwellings, a majority of them in north Karnataka, have been damaged and 45 people have lost their lives.

Ministers in charge of districts, legislators from the area and officials have been visiting the affected placed to assess the damage and provide immediate relief, said Prakash.

While rains have been lashing parts of the state, the capital Bangalore has hardly received any rainfall in June, which is an unusual phenomenon. Lack of rain has meant that the Thippagondanahalli lake that supplies water to nearly half of Bangalore is dangerously close to hitting the nil storage level.

The water level at the lake is hovering around 12 feet, just two feet away from nil storage level, after which authorities will have stop to drawing water from it.

The meteorological department officials told IANS that strong winds at speeds of 40 to 50 km per hour are the main reason for the lack of rain in the city. However, officials expect normal rainfall in the city in the next few days.