Srirangapatna: The rains accompanied by heavy winds and thunderstorms that lashed entire Srirangapatna last night has caused severe damages to properties and crops across the taluk.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, which attracts lakhs of tourists every year near Palahalli in the taluk, was the worst hit as over 100 trees have got uprooted forcing the authorities to shut down the Sanctuary for at least two days (Apr. 30 and May 1).
Range Forest Officer Santosh Hoogar said that fully grown trees at the entrance to the Sanctuary and inside were uprooted due to last night’s rains. As a result, the entry gate, ticket counter, museum and gopura at the entrance have been damaged.
“We are forced to close down the Sanctuary for visitors for at least two days to clear the trees and repair the damages. In the post-covid times, the Sanctuary was gradually attracting more number of visitors, especially during weekends when tourists from other States thronged the Sanctuary. But now the strong winds have caused the unexpected and the Sanctuary is estimated to lose about Rs. 10 lakh revenue due to the temporary shutdown,” he said adding that the closure may be extended by a day if found absolutely necessary.
This apart, a good number of roadside trees on either side of more than a kilometre stretch of the road leading from Paschimavahini to Ranganathittu too have got uprooted, disrupting vehicular movement on the road to the popular tourist destination.
Last night’s thunder showers has also caused widespread damages elsewhere across the taluk with Belagola hobli being the worst affected. According to Belagola Revenue Inspector Umesh, more than 100 coconut, arecanut, mango and other trees have got destroyed and fully grown crops in a vast area of the hobli stand destroyed. Also, about three houses in Palahalli have partially got destroyed and they are now assessing the losses, Umesh said adding that a detailed report will be submitted to the higher authorities on the extent of damage of crops and other properties.
Most parts of Srirangapatna continued to be without power this morning too, as according to preliminary estimates, more than 50 electric poles have come crashing down and over a dozen transformers got burst in different parts of the taluk.
CESC AEE Manju Prasad said that the staff are busy in restoring power supplies that was cut off due to last night’s rain havoc. It is hoped that electricity will be restored by this evening, he added.