Flood-affected fear going back to houses

A damaged house at Gandhadagudi colony in Kodagu.

The residents of Balele, situated on the border of Kodagu district, are in distress. Roads leading to Gandhadagudi Colony, Koppalu and Devanooru have been washed away by the floods.

As the houses were inundated, walls have developed cracks. The flood victims, now in relief centres, are staring at bleak future.

Gandhadagudi Colony is situated on the low-lying area. A majority of the daily wagers were residing in the colony by constructing a mud house. The flood has taken a toll on several houses. All the residents have been provided shelter at a boys hostel, run by the Social Welfare Department.

In spite of rain receding, the houses are still inundated. The residents are scared to enter the house fearing collapse. Schoolchildren, senior citizens, and tiny tots are staying in the relief centre. At least nine houses have collapsed in the colony.

Though Balele on an average receives 40 to 50 inches of rainfall, it faces acute shortage of water for four months during summer, said Balele APCMS President Alamengada Bose Mandanna.

"This year, all of a sudden village was surrounded by water. Balele had received the highest rainfall 58 years ago. However, the intensity of damage was not much then," he added.

The rise in water level in River Lakshmanatheertha washed away Koppalu village. It was water from Keerehole which submerged Devanooru village. The residents of Tattekere, Karmadu, Nitturu, Ponnappasanthe, Bommadu, Kanooru, Kirugooru were affected by floods.

A total of 155 victims, belonging to tribal communities, were provided shelter at Karmadu Tribal Ashrama School.

"After the rain recedes, officials will send us back to our houses. How will we stay in a house that is already crumbling?" asks victim P M Bhoja.

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