Karnataka floods: Nirmala Sitharaman meets district authorities tomorrow in the flooding Kodagu district

MadikeriMinister of Defense Nirmala Sitharaman will visit the flood and landsliding Kodagu district on Friday, where rescue operations and relief operations are in full swing.

The torrential rains that hit the neighborhood last week have left a huge trail of devastation and have claimed at least 17 lives. More than 5,000 people have become homeless.

"Sitharaman is expected to be in Kushalnagar on Friday morning and planned to visit the affected areas and talk to people there," said the BJP of Karnataka.

File image of Minister of Defense Nithala Sitharaman. PTI

File image of Minister of Defense Nithala Sitharaman. PTI

She then travels to the landslides of Madapur and takes stock of the situation. Then she is scheduled to visit a relief camp in Madikeri and to communicate with the prisoners there.

The Minister of Defense will also hold meetings with the district administrators and other officials of the deputy commissioner's office for assistance and rehabilitation.

Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, is the second minister of the Union to visit the flood-affected district, after DV Sadananada Gowda, who comes from the state.

Her visit comes one day after state BJP Chief BS Yeddyurappa said that he had informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the situation in Kodagu.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Siddaramaiah, along with Pradesh Congress Director Dinesh Gundu Rao, visited the affected parts of the district and took stock of the situation on Thursday.

Siddaramaiah told reporters that she had instructed Modi to visit Kodagu, to assess the loss that had taken place and to provide sufficient relief from the center.

The Prime Minister should have visited Kodagu when he visited Kerala, "he said, referring to Modi who conducted an aerial survey in the neighboring state where, since 8 August, unprecedented flooding claimed 231 lives and displaced Lakhs.

Siddaramaaih, who is also the head of the Coordination Committee of the Congress JD (S), supplemented the government for the auxiliary work and said it had to speed up.

He said that he had asked the officials to come up with programs to provide permanent housing for those affected and to help students, he said to prevent the recurrence of such floods, a committee of experts had to be put together.

"With the decreasing rains in the past few days, relief and rehabilitation efforts have gained momentum in Kodagu, where operations to save stranded people due to flooding and landslides have largely been completed," officials said.

The administration now focused on providing help and rehabilitating people in the relief camps, clearing blocked roads and recovering electricity.

In total, 1,019 rescue workers from different agencies are stationed in Kodagu and screen villages together with NGOs and the local community. "An amount of Rs 30 crore has been released to Kodagu by the state government to include auxiliary work," officials said, adding engineers and staff from the Madras Engineer Group is assigned to Kodagu for road restoration and debris

Schools that were closed for more than 20 days reopened Thursday, with teachers giving lessons to students in relief camps throughout the district.

51 aid camps have been set up in Kodagu, which currently employs 5,041 people, including 4,450 people who were rescued and brought to safety on Thursday evening.

According to preliminary estimates, about 2,200 houses have been damaged.

In Dakshina Kannada, another flood-affected district, five deaths have been reported and more than 361 houses have been damaged. Officials said that a team of three members of NGRI (National Geophysical Research Institute), led by Ragavan, visited Kodagu and established a seismic observation center in a school to closely monitor seismic activity in and around the area.

The team of Dr Srinivasa Reddy, director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Center and Dr HMS Prakash (formerly DDG, GSI) are also conducting geotechnical studies in the mangaluru region affected by landslides. Assuming there was loss of certificates, documents and identity cards as a result of flooding, officials said the government will establish communal service centers that will act as a one-stop system to distribute duplicates of these documents free of charge.

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