Life on cliff edge, literally, in Kodagu

Life on cliff edge, literally, in Kodagu

A concrete house has slipped after mud caved in following heavy rain in Madikeri. DH PHOTO

At least four persons were rescued from Jodupala and shifted to Madenadu in Kodagu district on Sunday. Further, the National Disaster Relief Force has started a search operation to rescue 30 persons stranded in the hills of Jodupala.

As the road from Jodupala to Madikeri is cut off, the Dakshina Kannada (DK) district administration took up rescue operation. The operations were suspended on Sunday evening. However, after Revenue Minister R V Deshpande received a call from a few people stating that 30 people were still stranded in Jodupala, the operation resumed late in the evening. The police, fire service personnel, Home Guards and local youths are giving a helping hand to NDRF’s relief efforts.

A total of 848 victims have registered at the three gruel centres opened by the DK district administration and 428 people have been provided shelter at these centres.

On getting information that a few labourers were taking shelter under a tree in a rubber estate at Jodupala, the NDRF team, along with police, fire service personnel and volunteers rushed to the spot and took the labourers to safety.


Sudeep, a labourer from Bihar, was found trapped in the steep valley and he was carried in a stretcher to the main road. The rescue team had to cross an overflowing stream holding a rope. The exhausted labourer was provided treatment at the Sampaje relief centre. Though he had informed that there were two others with him, the rescue team could not trace them.

A woman and her two children were stranded in the hills of Jodupala. The NDRF team had a tough time convincing them to shift to the relief centre. The family claimed that their house was safe, but they were finally shifted to the relief centre by evening. Heavy rain on Sampaje Ghat on NH 275 is hampering the rescue operation. Landslides have occurred at multiple locations between Jodupala and Madenadu.

The water level in Payaswini river has increased following heavy rain.Minister Deshpande, Urban Development Minister U T Khader Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda visited the landslide-hit site at Jodupala on Sunday.

Later, they visited the gruel centres at the Sampaje school, Kallugundi school and Thekkila community hall and listened to the grievances of the victims. Speaking to mediapersons, Deshpande said the government was committed to  help the victims. Houses would be constructed in safer areas for the victims, he said.

Many of the flood victims have lost their houses, properties, key documents, vehicles and animals in Kodagu district. Several victims were shifted to safer places on Sunday. The district administration has identified a few more affected areas and those stranded are likely to be shifted on Monday.

To compound the woes of the victims, there has been an increase in thefts in the houses of the victims. The people are appealing to the rescue teams to get their valuables from the affected areas.

‘Havoc due to homestays’

According to local residents, the construction of homestays by levelling hills and felling trees is the cause for landslides in the dstrict. Rumours about earthquakes have forced several residents to desert their villages. Appeals by the district administration not to heed rumours have not helped.

Loss of connectivity to villages has resulted in residents of Moornadu, Bhagamandala, Bethri, Kottammudi and Napoklu not being able to access daily requirements. The district administration has provided 120 mobile toilets for the benefit of the people. Over 400 people are provided shelters at Maithri Bhavan in Madikeri. A total of 18 relief centres have been opened in Madikeri.

In a moving gesture, Nithin Bharath, a youth from Jodupala, walked all the way from Madikeri to Jodupala, a distance of 14 km, to rescue his dog Sandy that was left alone in the house.