Movement of multi-axle trucks banned as they damage roads
Compared to last year, this year’s rainfall is less, says data
Madikeri: Parts of Kodagu have been receiving intermittent rains since the last three days signalling the onset of the Southwest Monsoon. Though the intensity of monsoon is yet to set in, cloud cover and rainfall has been widespread and uniform across the district. And the weatherman has predicted more rains in the next three days.
Following the forecast, the Kodagu District Administration has banned the movement of heavy vehicles transporting sand and tree logs. Along with this, multi-axle trucks and tankers have also been banned. The District Administration has taken this step as unrestricted movement of trucks on the sides of the road will lead to landslides and cause damage to roads.
This decision has been taken based on the report presented by the Regional Transport Officer who had recommended a ban on vehicles that weighs more than 16,200 kgs. The vehicles include multi-axle trucks and tankers, bullet tankers, ship cargo containers, long chassis vehicles and trucks transporting sand and wooden logs.
However, exceptions have been granted for trucks carrying milk, cooking gas, fuel, school buses, public and private sector transport buses and those vehicles transporting goods for government work.
Moreover some villagers, who were affected by landslides last year, have demanded a ban on heavy vehicles. Villagers from Bettatturu, Kolagadalu-Cherambane-Bettatturu-Madenadu road said that heavy vehicles transporting timber ply on the road unabated as the road connects to the National Highway. Continuous movement of heavy vehicles has damaged the road that has led to landslides, they said.
Rain data: Kodagu district recorded 12.47 mm during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Tuesday and between January-June 11, the district received 205.75 mm rainfall. Last year, the district had received 761.49 mm during the same period.
Madikeri taluk registered 19.10 mm of rains during the same period while Virajpet taluk recorded 13.4 mm and Somwarpet taluk 4.83 mm. Napoklu received 27.20 mm. The other centres which received moderate to low rainfall included Madikeri (8 mm), Bhagamandala (33.20), Virajpet (31.80), Hudikeri (20.20), Srimangala (7.20), Ponnampet (5.60), Ammathi (12), Balele (4), Somwarpet (6), Shanivarsanthe (2.20), Shanthahalli (7) and Kushalnagar (2.8 mm).
Less rainfall this year
When compared to last year, this year’s rainfall is less. During the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Tuesday, Madikeri taluk registered 19.10 mm while last year it had recorded 116.65 mm. From January to June 11 this year, Madikeri received 242.25 mm rainfall. Last year, Madikeri had received 1056.94 mm.
During the same period, Virajpet taluk registered 13.47 mm while last year it had recorded 92.90 mm. From January to June 11 this year, Virajpet received 254.43 mm rainfall. Last year, Virajpet had received 598.07 mm rainfall. Somwarpet Taluk registered 4.83 mm while last year it had recorded 104.12 mm. From January to June 11 this year, Somwarpet taluk received 120.56 mm rainfall. Last year, Somwarpet taluk had received 629.46 mm rainfall.
The inflow into the Harangi reservoir is negligible as of now. The inflow was pegged at 76 cusecs on Tuesday whereas it was 4,780 cusecs on the same day last year. The water level of the reservoir was hovering at 2,804.92 ft. against the full reservoir level of 2,859 ft.
‘Drop cloud seeding’
As the rainfall is picking up pace, the State Government has been urged to shelve the plan of cloud seeding in Kodagu. The State Cabinet had decided to spend a couple of crores of rupees for cloud seeding. Residents and voluntary organisations have urged the Government to drop the plan as cloud seeding might result in more heavy rains like last year bringing untold misery to the people.
Disaster management training programme
A natural disaster management training programme was inaugurated by Additional DC P. Shivaraju in Madikeri yesterday where he lauded the role played by Scouts and Guides and Rovers and Rangers during last year’s calamity. He said their services will be availed this year as well and urged them to coordinate with NGOs and volunteers in the relief centres in case of any eventuality.
The training programme will be held for two days to equip the volunteers and NGOs on how best to deal with the situation in case of floods this year as well. Commissioner of Kodagu District Scouts and Guides Jimmy Sequeira said the District Administration has identified areas vulnerable to floods and landslides and teams of Scouts and Guides would be deployed in these places.