'Unscientific bridge at Kudalasangma led to flooding'

Unscientific bridge at Kudalasangma led to flooding of 14 villages: report

A file photo of Kudalasangama during last year's floods.

The unscientifc construction and lack of maintenance of a bridge at Kudalasangama near Tangadagi has been found to be the reason behind inundation of 14 villages in Muddebihal taluk, besides flooding of Aihole and Pattadkal area.

The lacuna has been exposed by a report by Sudhir Sajjan, Technical Assistant at Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited (KBJNL), who investigated the reason behind the flooding of 14 villages that left thousands of families homeless.

“Fourteen villages on the left bank of Malaprabha, despite being situated about 10 to 15 metre above the full reservoir level, were inundated. The principal reason for the flooding was the 8 metre high sediment below the Tangadagi bridge which blocked the flow of water from Krishna,” the report said.

The bridge for the Hunagunda-Muddebihal road is situated near Kudalasangama between Narayanpur dam and Almatti reservior. A few hundred metres ahead of the bridge, Malaprabha joins the Krishna waters released from Almatti.

The sediment has been getting collected near the bridge and also on the banks of Kudalasangama over the last few years. “This is clear when we compare recent photos with the photo from 1959,” the report stated, adding that the sediment has reduced the width of the vents below the bridge from 12 metre to 4 metre.

To prevent flooding of villages, the original plan for Narayanpur dam suggested maintaining the dam water below 492 metre. However, during last year’s monsoon, despite opening all the gates of Narayanpur dam, the impounded water at Kudalasangama and at the bridge hindered the flow from Almatti dam.

The blockage of water at the bridge, together with the flow from Malaprabha, led to the inundation.

As a solution, the report recommended the removal of the bridge. “The bridge has to be removed along with the silt collected under it. This will prevent collection of more sediment and wash away all the silt collected in the downward path of the channel,” the report suggested.

The report warns that lack of corrective measures will leave Kudalasangama as well as Aihole and Pattadkal vulnerable to floodwaters.

Officials at KBJNL said lack of maintenance of the bridge led to last year’s disaster. “Timely maintenance by removing the silt would have prevented the flooding,” an official said.

To a question, KBJNL Managing Director N Jayaram said he could respond to the report after going through its details.

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