CM asks Kodagu DC to prepare action plan so that works can be expedited
Bengaluru: After sailing through the Floor Test in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has got into action and on Tuesday, he held a meeting with officials and MLAs from Kodagu to discuss the status of relief works took by the previous coalition Government in the region. The meeting took stock of the present progress of the relief works and also looked into the measures to be taken for more relief.
Last August, unprecedented rains triggered by cloudbursts, floods and landslides brought untold misery to the people of Kodagu and over 30 percent of land in Madikeri and Somwarpet taluks was destroyed in previously unheard of havoc that was unleashed by nature, rendering hundreds of people homeless.
Many villages were wiped out by devastating floods and landslides and mud came crashing down carrying everything in its path — trees, electric poles and houses. Kodagu received over 200 mm rainfall on three consecutive days, on Aug. 15, 16 and 17, according to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC). It was the highest amount of rainfall in Kodagu in 87 years and it forced thousands of people to take shelter in 55 relief camps and over 20 persons lost their lives.
Delay in relief measures
The coalition Government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy launched relief and rescue measures and as part of rebuilding Kodagu, promised more than 800 houses for the homeless (whose houses and estates were washed away) to stay. The phase-by-phase mega rehabilitation housing project was taken up by the Government under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Ltd. (RGRHCL) and though the works began in full swing after months of delay, the projects are yet to be completed.
Following the delay, the Kumaraswamy Government was criticised for the slow pace of works and the two BJP MLAs from Kodagu Appachu Ranjan and K.G. Bopaiah blamed the lacunae in the administration. Now that the BJP Government has come to power, the MLAs, urged CM Yediyurappa to convene a meeting and look into the alleged lapse in providing relief and rehabilitation to the flood-hit.
Chairing the meeting, CM Yediyurappa asked Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy to submit an action plan for rehabilitation and reconstruction. The District Administration had prepared an estimate of Rs. 535 crore for rebuilding.
The meeting was also attended by Bopaiah, Appachu Ranjan and senior officers. Discussions were held on the status of housing projects. Annies Kanmani Joy told the meeting that last year’s calamity had damaged the district’s basic infrastructure such as roads and buildings and the loss was estimated at Rs. 1,400 crore.
Rs. 535 crore needed
She told the CM that the Centre had released Rs. 58 crore towards the relief measures while the State Government gave Rs. 85 crore. “A sum of Rs. 535 crore was required for the repair of damaged stretches of National Highways, PWD roads and rural roads, and drainage works in Madikeri town,” the DC told the meeting.
The CM told the DC to submit proposals listing out the works immediately for taking up reconstruction work. The DC told the meeting that 842 persons will get new houses at Made, Karnangeri and Madapura and the houses are being built by Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Limited. Rupees 111 crore has been released for the purpose.
Infosys Foundation’s 200 houses
A sum of Rs. 42.92 crore is required for providing basic amenities. Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Managing Director Anbu Kumar, who was also present at the meeting, said the projects will be completed in the next three months and added that the Infosys Foundation is in the process of completing the promised 200 houses.
The CM asked officials to give permission for those who have come forward to build houses in their farms. About 83 people, who lost their homes, had sought permission from the District Administration for constructing houses in their fields and sought financial assistance as they would prefer staying near their estates and fields rather than staying in Government houses far away.
A sum of Rs. 9 lakh each had been sanctioned for building each house and 54 people had received the financial help so far. Yediyurappa asked the authorities to give assistance to the remaining people as well.
MLC Sunil Subramani, CM’s Advisor M. Lakshminarayana, CM’s Additional Chief Secretary Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary of Finance Department I.S.N. Prasad and other senior officers were present in the meeting.