Kodagu Flood fallout: Tourism industry takes a hit

Bengaluru: Floods and landslides in Kodagu have taken a heavy toll on the tourism industry in the Coffee Land. Private bus operators, who used to run buses regularly to Kodagu, are reeling under heavy losses as they have not been operate their services due to the alarming situation.

Officials said that the entire region might need more than a year to get back to normal, as the damage is high. Several home stays and resorts have been damaged and will require some time for renovations and repairs.

Mr Ravi Maddappa, a manager at Sweet Coffee Estate home stay in Makkanduru, which has been completely flooded, said, “When the rains started a couple of weeks ago, we thought it was normal monsoon rain. But last week, when there was no let-up in the downpour and landslides started occurring, we realised the gravity of the situation.

Landslides destroyed every house and building in the area. Our home stay is also completely damaged and fortunately, there were no guests. But we had heavy bookings for August and September, running up to February because of festival and holiday time. This is the period we make some profits, but now everything is washed away.”

He said, “To repair our home stay, which is spread over seven acres, we need a lot of money and require at least a year to put it back into shape. It is unfortunate, but we can’t stop the nature. We are all staying at a government school now and don’t know about our future.”

Ms Kushala Chengappa, who runs a Coffee Time home stay near Galibeedu Post, said that she had never seen a devastation of this scale. “We have seen heavy rains, but not to this extent. Our home stay is filled with muck and water. We had many guests, and we asked them to vacate to a safer place. They were lucky to get out before it started flooding. We also received confirmation that the guests have reached their homes safely.”

She said, “On the other hand, we have to blame ourselves for what we have done with our nature. We are reaping what we have sown. Trees have been cut in the name of development and the nature has gifted us with increased landslides and flooding. This is a wakeup call for everyone across our country to not to harm nature.”

Ms Chengappa said that she has to spend around Rs 35-40 lakh to clean, repair and paint the entire home stay and this will take not less than four months.

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