Bengaluru, Oct 29 (IANS) Rural infrastructure, including roads, bridges, state highways, electric poles, and telephone lines and houses, were destroyed or severely damaged in the recent flash floods and heavy rains across Karnataka, causing an estimated Rs 1,000 crore loss, an official said on Thursday.
“The extended southwest monsoon wreaked havoc in the state’s northern and north-west regions due to heavy rains and flash floods in dozen districts in the first three weeks of this month,” a state Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department official told IANS.
Bagalokote, Ballari, Belagavi, Bidar, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur and Yadgir in the state’s north and northwest regions were the worst affected.
“Release of excess water from dams across major rivers like Krishna and Bheema in the region and from neighbouring Maharashtra flooded villages/towns and damaging rural infrastructure and crops ahead of harvesting,” the official said.
According to initial estimates by the Agriculture and Revenue Departments, the loss due to damage to roads and bridges is Rs 915 crore. Damage to state-run schools, anganwadis and public buildings is projected to be Rs 185 crore.
“The State Disaster Management Authority has declared 173 taluks in 25 of the 30 districts as flood-affected,” said the official.
The department has urged the central government to extend work for 50 more days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) to make for the loss due to heavy rains, floods and the Covid pandemic since mid-March.
“The state government has sought additional funds and extension of work days under the MNREGS to help 3 -lakh families in rural areas regain livelihood and prevent their migration to towns and cities in search of jobs,” the official added.
The state government has already sought Rs 10,000-crore special package from the Centre for relief and rehabilitation works in the affected districts.
According to initial estimates by the State Disaster Management Authority, kharif crops awaiting harvesting in 6.3 lakh hectares of farm lands were damaged due to the heavy rains and flooding as the south-west monsoon extended beyond September.