Disaster
The two-bedroom houses, spread across 4.8 acres, have been distributed to families whose houses were completely damaged or destroyed in the landslides.

Nine months after the devastating floods and landslides that affected the Kodagu district of Karnataka, the district administration has allocated 35 houses in Karnangeri for those displaced by the disaster.

The two-bedroom houses are spread across an area of 4.8 acres and have been distributed to families whose houses were completely damaged or destroyed in the landslides.

The landslides particularly affected Karnangeri, Udayagiri, Makkanduru, Eradane Monnangeri and Hemmethalu. Three families from Karnangeri who lost their homes were accommodated in the 35 houses. Sixteen other families from Udayagiri and Makkanduru villages were also accommodated in the same housing colony, Assistant Commissioner T Javaregowda confirmed. “We are considering those families who come within a two-kilometre radius of the village, and duly 16 families will receive the housing facilities,” Javaregowda said.

Around 106 families affected by the floods and landslides near Karnangeri alone had sought a house in the same area. Sixteen of these families will now be housed in Karnangeri through a lottery draw.

According to a report drawn up by the Revenue Department, the floods and landslides had severely damaged 501 houses and partially damaged 662 houses. The state government planned to build 840 houses for affected residents as part of the rehabilitation programme at a cost of Rs 9.85 lakh per house.

In December, Minister for Urban Development and Housing UT Khader had assured that about 845 two-bedroom houses for the flood victims will be ready by May. 110 acres of land was identified in Gaalibeedu, Made, Nidugane, Karnangeri, Biligeri, Sampaje and Jamburu for the construction of the houses. However, only 35 houses in Karnangeri have been completed.

The construction of the houses were delayed by administration changes in Kodagu. Deputy Commissioner Sreevidya, who was in charge during the landslides and had sanctioned the construction of the houses, was replaced by Annies Kanmani Joy in February this year. The post was lying vacant for an interim period as Sreevidya had taken leave for two months to take care of her ailing father.

Houses damaged in Monnangeri in Kodagu in August 2018

Residents in the hilly areas of Kodagu are fearful that a repeat of last year’s floods and landslides will leave them homeless and are preparing themselves by renting houses in safer areas and moving into relatives’ houses.

“People are looking for houses on rent or have informed relatives, they will move if there are one or two days of rain. This is happening in places like Mukkodlu, Hemmethalu and Makkanduru, which was badly affected by the landslides last year,” explains Deepak Muthanna, a coffee trader residing in Madapura. Deepak was involved in the rescue efforts during the floods last year.

Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)

With inputs from Prajwal Bhat