KARWAR: Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Monday visited the flood-affected regions of Kadra and Mallapura gram panchayats in Uttara Kannada district and heard the grievances of the residents there.
Locals poured out their woes saying that the officials of Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) released water from the Kadra dam without prior warning. “Water was released without any notice. We haven’t received any compensation too. We are homeless and don’t have anything to eat,” rued a resident of Mallapur.
Another woman, carrying a child, almost dragged Siddaramaiah to show her destroyed house. “The government has left us to fend for ourselves. We are daily-wagers. We have lost everything to floods,” the woman cried.
Siddaramaiah later met KPCL officials at Kadra and questioned them if the allegations of releasing water without informing the residents was true. When the KPCL engineers defended themselves, saying that they had issued several warnings before releasing water, the villagers raised a protest and blamed them for the disaster. The meeting ended with Siddaramaiah saying that he will bring the matter to the notice of the KPCL MD. He also visited Gandhinagar village before winding up his trip at Mallapura.
It may be recalled that the residents of Mallapura were upset that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai did not visit their panchayat to take stock of the flood situation.Speaking to the media, Siddaramaiah said it was official apathy that led to the flooding.
“I will raise the issue in the Assembly. I drew the attention of the government to the plight of the people here after last year’s floods, but nothing has been done. I will put pressure on the government to provide compensation to the affected families and shift them to safer places,” he added.
The government has compensated only those who are authorised dwellers and not migrants who have come from outside to work, he charged. He asked the Karwar tahsildhar to conduct a survey to determine the loss of lives and property at the earliest. Siddaramaiah also visited Ankola and Yellapur before returning to Bengaluru.