As parts of Karnataka faced a deluge for the second time in two months and the toll since last week rose to 13, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday directed officials to immediately expedite relief work and not to shy away from duties citing Deepavali holidays.
The second spell of downpour since October 18 has claimed13 lives besides damaging around 10,000 houses and rendering over 7,000 people homeless in 16 districts, including, Belagavi in north Karnataka which bore the brunt of the flood fury in August, according to latest official information. Holding a video conference with the Deputy Commissioners of the 16 districts, most of them in north Karnataka, Yediyurappa took stock of the situation in the presence of Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar and other top officials.
"Unfortunately 13 people have died due to floods and about 10,038 houses have been damaged. The Chief Minister has issued instructions to provide compensation to the families of those deceased and for damaged houses immediately," the Chief Minister's office said in a statement here.
Yediyurappa asked officials in the affected regions not to keep away from their duties, citing Deepavali holidays, and respond to the needs of the people hit by floods. He instructed officials to speed up the rescue and relief work, it said, adding six teams of National Disaster Response Force and one army column was operational in affected regions.
A total of 28 relief camps have been opened and Yediyurappa asked officials to ensure all basic facilities and medical help were provided there and also depute a district-level officer to each centre.
Noting that a total of Rs 1,027.54 crore was available in the accounts of the district Deputy commissioners, he said there was no shortage of funds for relief work. If there was a need for additional funds, it would be released.
Another official release, quoting weather forecast, said north interior districts, including Belagavi, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Koppal, and Ballari, would receive scattered and moderate rains with heavy rains at isolated places in the next two days.
According to officials, the water level in dams in the sub-basin of Krishna river and the Cauvery basin in Karnataka are at full reservoir level or close to the capacity and the discharge has been increased to keep appropriate buffer.
More rains have been forecast in Upper Krishna catchment basin in Maharashtra in the next 2-3 days, they said the Met department has issued rain alerts for Coastal andMalnadRegion of Karnatka for the next three days.
Releases from reservoirs were being well coordinated to prevent flooding in the downstream area, they said, adding all necessary precautions were being taken and "the situation is under control."
The affected districts include Dharwad, Belagavi, Bagalkote, Raichur, Gadag, Haveri, Vijayapura, Davangere, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga, Kodagu, Koppal andChikkamagaluru where water has gushed into houses and government buildings in low-lying areas. The heavy rains and floods in August had claimed 91lives. A total of 2,798 villages in 103 taluks in 22 districts were affected and around seven lakh people were shifted to safe areas. About 3,400heads of cattle had perished.
The Centre had recently released Rs 1,200 crore as interim flood relief to the state, which had sent a damage estimate of Rs 35,160.81 crore.