Kodagu disaster victims stage demonstration, demand relief

Madikeri:  Demanding appropriate compensation, Kodagu flood victims, under the joint banner of Kodagu National Disaster and Flood Victims Samiti, Karnataka Belegarara Okkuta and Kodagu Planters Association, staged a demonstration in front of the DC’s office at Madikeri yesterday.

Claiming that 38 villages coming under seven Gram Panchayats in Madikeri and Somwarpet taluks were destroyed in recent floods and landslides, the victims urged the Union and State Governments to announce a special relief package for reconstruction of villages and rehabilitating them.

Urging the Government to waive off farm loans secured by farmers living in these villages, to advance interest-free loans for five years in order to again take up farming and to announce crop loss compensation as per the present market rates of commercial crops, they demanded immediate clearing of wastes and garbage collected in Harangi backwaters and other rivulets.

They also asked for a complete geographical survey of all flood and landslides affected areas in the district. Kodagu Natural Disaster and Flood Victims Samiti leader Manu Medappa who addressed the protesters, said that the Government should provide a job to one person from every affected family.

He also urged the Union and State Governments to provide assistance for students from flood-affected families to pursue education at schools /colleges of their choice.

Karnataka Belegarara Okkuta President Nanda Belliappa, in his address, strongly denounced the findings of Geographical Survey of India which claimed that coffee growers were responsible for the natural disaster.

Maintaining that landslides may have been caused due to the pressure of still Harangi backwaters, he urged the Government to find out the exact cause of the natural calamity.

Demanding announcement of a special package for Kodagu, he warned of intensifying the protest if it was not done. The protesters presented a memorandum to Special DC Jagadeesh to be forwarded to Central and State Governments.

MLC Veena Achaiah, leaders Kujjera Jaya Chinnappa, Ratan Thammaiah, B.N. Ramesh, S.K. Achaiah, K.K. Vishwanath, M.C. Cariappa and others were present.

Earlier, the flood victims marched in a procession from Gandhi Mantapa to the DC’s office, passing through General K.S. Thimayya Circle.

Even as the flood victims staged a demonstration, the District Administration has said that a list of all damaged houses will be published at the respective Gram Panchayat, Madikeri CMC and Kushalnagar Town Panchayat offices and the Kodagu District Administration official website on Saturday (Sept.29).

The affected people and other beneficiaries can have a look of the list published at their respective office and file their objections or discrepancies, if any, at the respective office before Oct.3, according to the DC.

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