Heavy rains bring respite to drought-hit Karnataka



Revival of the south-west monsoon and heavy rains in many parts of Karnataka this week brought respite to the people, reeling under severe drought over the last two years, said an official on Friday.

"Though the monsoon had set in the state in early June, it was subdued and truant till Sunday. Since July 17, it revived to rain heavily in the coastal, south interior and north interior areas," state met department director L. Ramesh Babu told IANS here.

Dispelling fears of another drought, Babu said the rainfall had been widespread and bountiful in the catchment areas to fill the depleted reservoirs, which are the lifeline of the people for drinking water and farming.

"Heavy rains since Monday in the coastal, southern and central areas of the state led to flash floods in Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan and Shivamogga since Wednesday though the situation has been under control," asserted Babu.

Similarly, moderate to widespread rains in the state's northern districts of Belagavi, Bagalkot, Hubballi-Dharwad, Uttara Kannada and Vijayapura inundated low-laying areas and submerged many roads and bridges on the state and national highways.

On the flip side, the monsoon rains are also filling up ponds, tanks and other water bodies that had dried up due to prolonged drought in the state. Heavy discharge of rain water from southern Maharashtra in the neighbouring state has resulted in Krishna river and its tributaries running in spate.

"If the monsoon remains active and rains continue over the next 10 days in the catchment areas, prospects of reservoirs or dams filling up are bright. Farmers will be able to make up for the delay in sowing operations," said an official of the Water Resources Department.

Though normal life was disrupted in the rain-hit areas, people were not complaining, as they are assured of water for drinking, irrigation and cattle.

The monsoon rains have, however, eluded the southern parts of the state, including the old Mysuru region, resulting in deficit across Bengaluru urban and rural districts, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar.

"These areas (southern districts) normally get rains in August and September when the monsoon withdraws from the region," added Babu. - IANS