200 drowned at Manchanabele since 2006

200 drowned at Manchanabele since 2006

Their screams for help went unheard at the famous tourist spot that attracts at least 500 people every weekend, just like screams of many others have in the past. For, the two girls, Harshita (20) and Manasa (21), were not the first to drown in the reservoir.
According to a senior official of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL), the reservoir authority, at least 200 people have drowned in the reservoir since 2006.

The Magadi police told Deccan Herald: “Another person drowned less than 14 days ago. The place is very dangerous and there is nobody to take care of people.”

Police Inspector Ravikanth said the police were planning a checkpost on the approach road. He said he hold a meeting with CNNL officials on Saturday to put in place a security system.

The autopsy of the bodies at Sri Rajarajeswari Medical College Hospital confirmed the girls died due to drowning. The CNNL officials suspected they were victims of quicksand that dogs the 900-odd acre tourist reservoir.

On inquiring about the lack of security personnel at the spot, the CNNL officials conceded that there was nobody manning the reservoir for the last three-four months.

“We outsource the security management to private agencies through tenders for a period of a year or sometimes less. But we have not awarded any such contract in the last few months,” an official said.

The official, going on the defensive, however, said: “We have called for tenders. We will have about 12 guards, with three people manning the reservoir in shifts at any given time.”

This would still mean there would only be one security guard for about 300 acres of the reservoir at any time. Given the kind of dangers the dam is known for, the authorities will still be left wanting.

The official, justifying the move, said: “We are doing everything we can. Anything beyond this is not something we can do.” The authority’s hopes of making the place “more” safe crashed with the proposal to develop the infrastructure at the dam not coming through about two years ago. The proposed development was to be part of the “tourism belt” project, which was to include the Savanadurga Hills and the Big Banyan Tree.

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