SARPAHITIL (DAKSHINA KANNADA): For the next several months, Kamala of Sarpahitil village has massive amount of work to do. The floodwater, that brought sand along, left it deposited on her two acres of agricultural land. The height of this sand pile is estimated at 3-4 feet.
Kamala said: “It may take at least two years to recover from the impact of this massive flood. We have never experienced this before. The yield seen on areca plant this season could be the last to be seen for the next couple of years as sand has derailed further yield.” Landslides in eco-sensitive Western ghats has brought unimaginable amount of sand and now it is deposited on many areas measuring 7 km stretch.
Chinnayya Gowda Charmadi, who has lost around three acres of horticulture crop, said sands have deposited in Antara, Kolambe, Sarpahitil, and Avtage villages. Majority of people dwelling in these areas have areca and coconut plantations. While some plantations have washed off due to flood water and wood logs, sand deposit is a new challenge. Sand piled up in all these areas from 3 to 5 feet. Unless sand is removed from agricultural land, cultivation is impossible, he said.
It may take at least four to six months to clear the sand, opines Deekayya Gowda, whose 2 acres of areca plantation is filled with sand. Even after six months, yield is not assured as land may lose fertility. “It will take 2 - 3 years for us to completely restore our agricultural lands. We will have to bear losses for another three years, while depending on government compensation,” he added. The sand was brought on the flood waters along Mruthyunjaya river one of the tributaries of Netravati.
Now the danger looms large as flood has widened the path of the river, leading to a steady rise in the level of sand bed.