Bus services to some villages along the Karnataka-Maharashtra border were suspended after the Saigaon bridge over the Manjra river in Bhalki taluk was submerged after heavy rainfall on Friday.
The North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) officials said there was nearly one feet of water above the bridge by Friday afternoon. “Bus services will be resumed once the water-level subsides,” officials said.
The district received around 100 mm rainfall in three days, Met department officials said.
While some farmers have claimed that water was released from the Dhanegaon barrage in Maharashtra, irrigation department official in Bidar denied it.
Saigaon residents however have raised fears of their farmland along the riverbed getting submerged. Baburao Biradar said that his fields are along the riverbed and all his crops face the danger of getting submerged. If the rain continues for another two days, all my crops will be destroyed, he said.
Agriculture Department officials expressed helplessness about crop loss along the riverbed. Some farmers have grown crops on the no-cultivation buffer zone along the riverbed. Some of them have encroached land and started unauthorised cultivation. We repeatedly advise farmers not to venture into the no-cultivation zone, but in vain. Farmers are emboldened by the fact that floods don't occur every year. That is unfortunate, a senior agriculture department official said.
On Thursday, some bridges in Basava Kalyan and Bhalki taluks were submerged due to heavy rainfall in Bidar district and parts of Maharashtra. Movement of people and vehicles was affected.
People of some villages in Bhalki and Basava Kalyan taluks had to travel through Neelanga in Maharashtra to reach Bhalki or Bidar. Bridges at Kongali and Halasi Tugaon in Basava Kalyan taluk, and Saigaon in Bhalki taluk remained submerged till evening. Village people in Hulsoor said the bridge at Shahajahani Aurad across the border in Maharashtra was also under water.
Heavy rainfall and subsequent submergence of many bridges has affected people life and movement of people in Mehkar, Kongali, Attarga, Alavai, Srimali, Halasi, Manikeshwar, Bolegaon, Valandi, Vanjarkhed and surrounding villages.
Nivrutti Sopan, a resident of Mehkar village, said that crops on his farmland near the Manjra riverbed were submerged and that he might suffer huge losses.
There were no reports of death of people or animals from anywhere in the district.
Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla said he would visit the bridges shortly.
Ishwar Khandre, MLA, has criticised the State Government for failing to keep its promise of increasing the height of the Saigaon bridge. Successive governments have made the promise several times in the past few years.
As Deputy Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa had visited Mehkar and promised to increase the height of the bridge at a cost of Rs. 10 crore. The issue came up for discussion in the Cabinet meeting in Gulbarga.
Later, in 2010, Mr. Yeddyurappa promised to raise the height of the bridge. Even this promise has not been kept, Mr. Khandre added. People in around 20 villages suffer as the bridges remain closed for days every year. The State Government is directly responsible for their suffering, the Congress MLA said.
Source: The Hindu