Heavy rain continued to pound Karnataka on Friday, with fears of landslides looming large in the coastal district, while the death toll in rain-related incidents rose to nine in the state.
While the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy rainfall for two more days in the state, the Geological Survey of India has warned of landslides in Uttara Kannada district.
According to statistics of the Revenue Ministry, 23 houses have collapsed completely and nine persons have lost their lives across the state. As many as 204 hectares of agriculture and 431 hectares of horticultural crop have also been destroyed.
Capital Bengaluru woke up to a sunny morning after a long gap. However, average rainfall is predicted in the city for Friday. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will visit rain-affected areas in the city for the third consecutive day.
Holidays have been declared in schools of Davanagere, Dharwad and Haveri districts. Four Units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have arrived for rescue and relief operations in three coastal districts, Kodagu, Mysuru, Hassan, Raichuru, Yadgir, Ballary, Kalaburgi and Bengaluru.
Red alert has been issued in Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Davanagere, Chikkamagalur, Udupi and Shivamogga districts of the state. Rains with lightning and thunderstorms are also likely there. Orange alert has been issued for 16 districts of the state.
Bagalkot, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Koppal, Ballary, Bengaluru Rural, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur, Chitradurga, Kolar, Mandya, Mysuru, Ramnagar and Tumkur districts will receive rainfall in the next 24 hours.
About hundreds of hectares of paddy crop has been destroyed by the heavy rains in Davanagere district.
Chief Minister Bommai had stated that modernisation of stormwater drains in an integrated way is being taken up at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore in Bengaluru to find solutions to havoc created in the city due to heavy rains.
A decision was taken to develop storm water drains (Rajakaluves). The DPR has been prepared and the plan has been included in the budget. Work orders would be issued soon. Bottlenecks and silt would be removed for smooth flow of water in these storm water drains, Rs 400 crore is being spent for the purpose," Bommai said.
Veteran BJP leader and former Union minister S.M. Krishna had raised concerns through a letter to the Chief Minister warning him of recent developments relating to damage in the city following incessant rains affecting the brand and image of Bengaluru city at the global level.
The copious pre-Monsoon rains in the state especially in Bengaluru has affected normal life. The havoc caused by rains in Bengaluru, which is known as one of the most developing cities of the world, is a cause of concern, he said.
Krishna, who has also served as the Chief Minister of the state during Congress rule, has expressed fear that it would affect the brand Bengaluru at global level. These developments convey a wrong message to investors who want to invest here and it will adversely affect the establishment of industries in the state, he said.
(With inputs from IANS)