HUBBALLI: The resort owners of controversial Virupapura Gaddi (island) of Tungabhadra River in Koppal District are in the soup for not heeding the flood warnings by the district administration. The owners will be booked by the local administration which is also thinking of recovering the cost of the rescue operation from them.
As many as 559 people, including 300 tourists, of which 19 were foreign nationals, were rescued in a three-day-long operation by choppers and rescue boat. Nearly 100 men from the administration and different rescue units were pressed into action to retrieve the stranded tourists in the fast submerging island. Five of the rescue personnel had a narrow escape after their boat capsized during on the rescue attempts.
Speaking with TNIE, DC of Koppal P Sunil Kumar said that the area tahshildar has been instructed to book cases on the staying facilities and eateries located on the island.
“The officials of revenue department and a team from district administration had advised the resort owners to send the tourists outside the island after the Tungabhadra dam started discharging water,” he said.
Nagaraj J, a local coracle rider and guide said, “Our security personnel almost died saving the tourists who were well informed about the possible flooding. On the night when the river water started rising the police had given a last warning but still many drove their cars outside and walked back to stay on island.”
There has been a long tussle between the administration and locals who are holding lands on the island. The cases are presently before the court and the district administration is refusing to comment over the next course of action on the island. An official said that the court has asked to maintain status quo and the administration is hopeful to clear the island.