Army to rebuild battered roads in Karnataka's Kodagu



The Indian Army's engineering task force will help the district administration in restoring the severely battered roads in flood-hit Kodagu district, an official said on Thursday.

"About 75 Army engineering task force personnel will be assisting the district officials in restoring the critical roads of Kodagu," the state Relief Commissioner Gangaram Baderiya said in a statement.

The heavy rains leading to flash floods and landslips in the coffee-growing district, about 270km from the state capital, have claimed 16 lives in 10 days from August 14, Baderiya said.

As the intensity of rainfall in the district reduced since Sunday, about 50 Dogra Regiment soldiers, 12 Navy divers, 62 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials, Air Force officials and other state disaster response agencies are screening all the houses in affected areas.

About 5,000 people are currently sheltered in 51 relief camps across the district.

"The state is working on constructing temporary structures using aluminium to house around 10,000 homeless people displaced due to the landslides," Baderia said.

Kodagu district officials have been asked by the state to identify land for long-term rehabilitation of the homeless.

"Housing and Revenue Departments will construct the houses within a specific timeframe," the IAS officer said.

The district officials are giving Rs 3,800 of interim relief per family as per the Karnataka government's decision to allot Rs 2.2 crore to benefit 5,800 people affected due to the floods.

In addition, the families can also receive rice, oil, sugar, salt and dal as ration.

The state has released Rs 30-crore so far for relief and restoration work.

Several schools reopened across the district on Thursday and children were seen assisting in cleaning up their classrooms.

About 60 schools in the worst affected villages and towns will, however, remain shut till Saturday for restoration.

"Water, dry food and rations have been airdropped in inaccessible villages through choppers," the statement added.

Air Force officials have been transporting relief material to Kodagu from neighbouring Mysuru district through military aircraft.

The village administrations and city municipal bodies in the district have been given Rs 50,000 each to sanitise water bodies, which have been polluted by the rains and landslides.

Under the national rural employment scheme, the district officials said they will find employment opportunities for the displaced, including involving them in clearing the debris.

The district will soon have common service centres that will issue duplicate identity cards, certificates and documents, which people may have lost in the heavy rains and floods.- IANS