Flood victims in Didupe have no reason to smile yet

Flood victims in Didupe have no reason to smile yet

Members of Sahyadri Sanchaya took part in a Shramadan to remove the silt deposited at Raju Gowda’s areca plantation near Karyandoor Thodu in Didupe on Sunday.

The rain is less frequent and floodwaters had receded in flood-hit areas in Malavanthige and Mitthabagilu Gram Panchayats.

The damaged bridges had been repaired and connectivity restored. The essentials needed in everyday life, donated by philanthropists, had begun to trickle to the flood victims in these villages.

Life in these flood-ravaged areas is limping back to normalcy. But it is just the start of problems for these farmers with limited land holdings. As many as 10 days have passed after the massive floods triggered by landslides in the Western Ghats uprooted the lives of nearly 270 farmers (one-third of the total population in Malavanthige GP).

Yet electricity was not restored until Sunday evening. The talk of a fresh survey by revenue officers has worried farmers. With all rivulets, including Kerekodi Thodu, Perla Thodu, Paryandooru Thodu and Nandikadu Thodu erasing physical boundaries, farmers are apprehensive on whether a fresh survey would leave them poorer.

“There should not be any fresh classification of land like Paramboku during the survey,” villagers urged.

As farmers had invested money and their labour on kumki land, they had sought clarity on whether the crop loss on kumki land would be added to the total losses. So far there was no response from revenue officials, villagers added.

Sources in Malavanthige GP told DH that nearly 30 per cent of the affected 270 houses does not have documents.

“These farmers are depressed,” relief workers in Didupe village told DH. Farmers were also racing against time to remove the fine-grained silt deposited up to a height between two to five feet in their areca plantations by the rivulets in spate.

At Raju Gowda’s house, near Karyandoor Thodu in Didupe, members of Sahyadri Sanchaya (SS) had begun work on removing the silt since Sunday morning. Sanchaya Convenor Dinesh Holla told DH that the silt had to be removed manually in order to prevent any damage to water sprinklers in the plantation. Sanchaya Members from every nook and corner of the district had responded to Holla’s request to assist farmers in removing the silt.

In fact, Skanda Prasad, one of the volunteers, had come all the way from Subrahmanya to take part in the Shramadaan. The two dozen volunteers from Mangaluru also included a newlywed couple from Ullal and elderly trekkers. Didupe village’s flood disaster also witnessed the highest public turnout on Sunday.

Hundreds of people were seen taking selfies and pictures of giant trees washed ashore on the banks and on the bridge at Kukkavu.

Forest Guard Raju and Mamatha, serving as a teacher, lamented that if the public had participated in the Shramadaan, more silt would have been removed and more farmers in Didupe would have had some reason to smile.

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