New Delhi: Extensive rain damage in Kodagu and the lack of response from the Karnataka Government figured in Lok Sabha yesterday when Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha raised the issue when Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai (from Tamil Nadu) was in the Speaker’s Chair.
Starting his speech by mentioning that Kodagu is an important national asset from where River Cauvery, the lifeline of the people of Tamil Nadu originates, he requested Thambidurai to allow him to present in detail about the plight of people so that the governments listen and release immediate funds to solve the crisis-like situation in Kodagu.
Drawing the Speaker’s attention, Simha said that thanks to the bountiful rain, every day more than 50,000 cusecs of water is being released to Tamil Nadu from the Cauvery basin. “While River Cauvery is in her full glory, rain has badly affected Kodagu and with roads washing away, trees, power and telephone lines snapping. Rain has brought untold misery to most parts of Kodagu and roads resemble craters,” he said.
Thousands of hectares of fields have marooned and people can neither take up agricultural activities nor travel smoothly as roads have cracked open. “Roads that have been recently laid connecting Kodagu to Mangaluru, Kerala and Mysuru have been damaged. Even highways have cracked and have caused landslides. The plight of people living in remote areas is miserable with no roads, electricity or communication,” he said.
Focusing on the crops of Kodagu, Simha said that while sowing paddy in water-logged fields was near to impossible, coffee and cardamom crops have been destroyed due to heavy rain. “MPs K.C. Venugopal and Karunakaran have been successful in getting special packages to Kerala. Unfortunately, Karnataka Government has not responded to the people of Kodagu despite severe damages,” he pointed out.
“Even Venugopal, who was the In-charge All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary, was unsuccessful in providing any relief to Kodagu though Congress was in power in Karnataka for five years. Also, now the Congress has managed a back-door entry to grab power in Karnataka along with the JD(S). Still, Kodagu is being consistently ignored,” he alleged.
Lashing out at JD(S)-Congress Government for not coming to the rescue of people of Kodagu, Pratap Simha said that while the Governments of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are bothered about sharing Cauvery waters, the place where Cauvery takes birth (Kodagu) does not even figure in the discussion.
“When the BJP Government was in power in Karnataka, Kodagu got a grant of Rs.1,800 crore to Kodagu and with that money, several roads were repaired. But the Congress Government has sanctioned only Rs.300 crore to Kodagu which is a gross injustice,” he said.