By P.T. Bopanna
The Kodagu district administration headed by deputy commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy (in picture) should gear up the official machinery and draw up contingency plans to meet the challenges that may arise out another round of landslides.
Following the outpouring of grief arising out last year’s man-made disaster, the general public in large numbers and various philanthropic organisations had donated large sums for relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the monsoon.
However, the high power committee headed by chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has failed to monitor the rehabilitation because of the chief minister’s involvement with Lok Sabha polls where his son Nikhil is facing a tough electoral battle.
When the chief minister laid the foundation stone for the construction of 840 houses in Kodagu last December 7, an irresponsible housing minister U T Khader was quoted as saying that 55 houses will be built in one month.
None of the houses are ready even after four months and the monsoon is expected to arrive in the first week of June. Most of the houses are incomplete and unlikely to be ready by the end of May.
Victims affected by last year’s monsoon have to be again housed in the relief centres as the houses are incomplete. The district administration should complete the houses before the rains start.
Meanwhile, this year’s pre-monsoon showers have caused damages in several parts of the district and there is a sense of fear among the residents in the villages affected last time, including Jodupala, Monnangeri, Second Monnangeri, Tanthipala, Madenadu, Meghathalu, Yemmethalu, Kaloor and Hebbatageri. The debris of the earth which caved in last time have not been removed. There is a possibility they may slide down in the coming monsoon.
The highways connecting Madikeri still look vulnerable as only temporary measures were taken to restore the road link.
The JD (S)-Congress government has to take the blame for delaying the rehabilitation though there has been no finance crunch as crores of rupees have come in to the special relief fund exclusively started for Kodagu.
The government has to be blamed for allowing the previous Kodagu deputy commissioner P.I. Sreevidya to proceed on two months leave under mysterious circumstances after she had initiated several measures to rebuild Kodagu. The government erred in transferring key officials involved in the rehabilitation exercise.
The Kodagu administration has to work round-the-clock to complete the houses before the onset of monsoon.