Express News Service
MADIKERI: Five days after massive floods and landslides struck Kodagu, the region on Monday was slowly limping back to normalcy. While some people refused to be rescued by the authorities as water has receded in their houses, a few sheltered in relief centres left for their relatives’ houses.
A few stranded people were rescued from Mukkodlu, Kaluru and Muvathoklu. The district administration confirmed the death of seven people and said that four others were missing.
Restoration works have gained pace as rains receded across the district. CESCOM linemen were busy working on damaged electric poles around Madikeri. BBMP workers carried out cleaning operation in Kushalnagar. Minor Irrigation Minister C S Puttaraju said retaining walls will be built to prevent landsliding along rivers.
What has become a hurdle for the rescue mission is many people are refusing to leave teir villages in Mutlu, Hammiyala and Surlabbi. Girish, a resident of Madikeri, said, “My aunt Marakka Baby was staying at a relative’s house in Mukkodlu village and was approached by NCC rescue team. But she refused to come to a relief centre as she said that the place she was staying in is safe.”
Shanthalli village in Somwarpet taluq, which has witnessed huge property loss, is getting back to normalcy. Villagers were seen carrying on with their routine work. Many at relief centres were seen travelling to the landslide-prone areas to take a look at the state of their houses.
“The devastation is such that I could not recognise my village,” said Nithin, who went along with a friend to Kaluru.
Truckloads of food and other items are being taken to relief centres. However, the excess inflow has not been managed well.
“A box full of new t-shirts went missing. With so many people coming in and out, it has become tough to manage the excess relief goods,” said Jeevan, a volunteer.
“Also, people from many homestays were seen taking food and other products lined up in relief centres saying that they had few villagers staying at their place,” he added.
The government woke up to this situation and appointed nodal officers to relief centres to ensure that the materials are not misused.
The district administration was also alerted on the trucks being deviated to unauthorised locations, after which check-posts were installed with guards to check lorries and make a note on products being shipped in.