BENGALURU: Karnataka is inching towards a peculiar situation where the government has to deal with flooding in the coastal and Malnad regions along with parts of South Karnataka, while a drought-like situation exists in parts of North Karnataka. Authorities say if the situation continues for next 7-10 days, they might have to conduct crop damage assessment due to drought as well as flooding in these regions.
In the last few days, there has been heavy rainfall in the coastal and Malnad regions along with Kodagu, Mysuru and other parts of Karnataka. At the same time, there is no rain in Ballari, Raichur, Koppal, Kalaburgi, Yadgir and Bidar, leading to a peculiar situation. Official sources at right now they are concentrating on the flooding and rescue operations. The drought management will be done later.
Gangaram Baderia, Principal Secretary, Revenue department (Disaster Management) said right now they are handling the flooding situation with sufficient men and machinery. He explained that it is considered a drought if the rainfall deficit is 60 per cent of normal or below.
But at present it looks like it is 40 per cent. "We have time till August-end. If the same situation continues, then we might need to take a call. We are seeking Ground Water Drought index, River Flow Drought, Normalised Difference Vegetative Index from various agencies including Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Minor and Major Irrigation Departments. If the situation heads towards a drought-like situation, then we might need to go for crop loss estimation, and a survey has to be done,'' he said.
On flooding, Baderia said right now infrastructure facilities like bridges, roads, buildings and other essential infrastructure have been damaged. There has been human and cattle life loss, but not crop loss. "If the situation and rainfall continues, we will have to assess crop loss also,'' he added.
The state has 13 major reservoirs including Linganamakki, Supa, Varahi, Hemavathi, KRS and other dams. With heavy rain over the past few days, for the first time in the history, all 13 major dams in Karnataka are full and overflowing. This might cause crop loss around dams.