GADAG: With the devastation caused by the floods in August still fresh in their minds, the residents of Konnur village in Gadag district took a novel route to prevent the recurrence of the natural calamity. This time, they dug up National Highway 218, to create a channel to divert water from the overflowing Malaprabha river. This, the residents say, prevented flooding of the village.
With water released from the brimming Naviluteertha dam in Saundatti taluk into the Malaprabha, the residents decided to create the channel to prevent marooning of their village. They dug up the highway in such a way that the river water diverted away from the village. Meanwhile, the administration has not taken any objection to the villagers damaging the national highway as it was done only after bringing it to the notice of the deputy commissioner.
Naragund Tahsildar KB Korishetter told The New Indian Express that it was unintentional and done only to save life and properties. of nearby villages too helped Konnur residents in their endeavour. Though this resulted in temporary closure of NH 218, repair works are being carried out now. A small portion of the highway, however, was left undamaged for autorickshaws and light motor vehicles to ply. However, buses and heavy motor vehicles have to wait for some more time to use the road.
With the floodwater receding, the villagers heaved a sigh of relief. However, they have to walk for 3 km to Govinakoppa village to catch a bus. Balappa Naragund, a teacher said, “We are happy that Konnur is returning to normalcy. This time villagers decided to divert the flow of the river by digging up the main road ... due to which there were no casualties and damage to properties too were minimal.”