BENGALURU: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will offer Bagina at the brimming Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) on Friday. The water level in the reservoir hovered around the full capacity of 124.8 feet on Tuesday. In the next couple of weeks, he will head to Almatti in Vijayapura district to offer Bagina where again the dam is almost reaching its full capacity.
This being an official function usually many people on the CM’s entourage participate. But what will be different this year is that it will be offered under the shadow of Covid-19, with restricted numbers and following all norms.
With incessant rain, the State is facing a grim situation. The floodgates of almost all the important rivers have been opened as most rivers are flowing above the danger level, posing a threat to life and livelihoods. In North Karnataka, the flood situation has been worsening owing to incessant rainfall in the catchment areas of Krishna river and its tributaries.
The Mumbai-Karnataka region is flooded due to heavy rain in the Western Ghats along the Karnataka-Maharashtra-Goa border and also due to the overflowing Krishna river and its tributaries. The release of about 40,000 cusecs of water from the Koyna dam in Maharashtra has prompted the officials to shift people living in downstream villages.
Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkihioli told TNIE that about a month ago he held a meeting with his counterparts in Maharashtra and had carried out preparations to deal with the floods. He said they had held a series of meetings after that in the Kallur Barrage and in Almatti and other places.
This time Karnataka had released more water from Almatti and asked Maharashtra to restrict the flow from Koyna, which is why the flood damage in north Karnataka is minimal compared to last year, he said. The loss due to monsoon fury is estimated to be close to Rs 10,000 crore as per the latest assessment.
Meanwhile, Jarkiholi who is in Delhi said he will participate in the Bagina function on Friday.
Explaining this tradition, retired chief engineer and adviser to Karnataka’s water disputes Sriramaiah said, “Bagina is what we call ‘Thanksgiving’ because this is the time when the Chief Minister offers thanks to God for the abundant rainfall. Normally, good rain means good harvest. So chief ministers over the years have used this occasion to thank God for the abundant supply of natural resources.”