The Karnataka government on Thursday appealed to the Centre for funds to start relief and rehabilitation work in Kodagu district, which was affected by floods and landslides earlier this month.
In a memorandum to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy estimated losses worth Rs 3,435.80 crore and reiterated his earlier demand for Rs 2,000 crore from the central government. "We have suffered losses of around 65 human lives and 165 animals. More than 5,500 houses have been destroyed and nearly 1,400 km of roads have been damaged as per initial estimates. Since it is still raining in these areas, especially in Kodagu district, a detailed survey of the affected villages will be undertaken as soon as the conditions are favourable," reads the letter.
Parts of Kodagu district received over 200mm rainfall on August 15, 16 and 17. The heavy rains led to severe landslides in hilly areas, prompting volunteers and district authorities to open as many as 55 relief centres. Around 7,300 people sought relief in these camps while thousands of others relocated to relativesâ€™ places.
The landslides washed away houses, electric poles and trees, leaving behind piles of mud. Thousands of residents in relief camps recount stories of surviving the severe landslides in the region, with some trekking through forests and coffee plantations, to reach safer areas before being rescued by NDRF, Civil Defence or Army officers.
The state government has already announced Rs. 400 crore for relief and rehabilitation of rain-affected areas. Kumaraswamy had earlier requested Rs. 2,000 crore from the central government.
The CM, in particular, highlighted that Kerala and Karnataka account for 90% of the country's coffee production and claimed that the production could decrease by 20% due to the rains this month. "The industry is stating that coffee production in 2018/19 is likely to fall by at least one-fifth as Kerala and Karnataka (especially Kodagu) account for 90% of countryâ€™s coffee production. The losses will be to the tune of several thousand crores of rupees," states the memorandum submitted by the CM.