Mysuru: Kodagu toll rises to 17 as district limps back to normalcy

Mysuru: With another casualty reported due to landslides in Kodagu on Thursday, the toll in the devastated district has risen to 17 since  August 14 when it began to receive the heavy rain that has left a trail of disaster.

But the coffee land is beginning to limp back to normalcy with the rain reducing in intensity. While 5,041 people continue to live in the 51 relief centres set up across the district, as many as 1955 people have made their way back to their homes. The rescuers of multiple agencies, however, continue to screen houses in areas hit by landslides to see if any more people need help.  Preliminary reports suggest that  2,200 houses have been damaged in the district.

 While most children returned to schools on Thursday, 61 schools remain closed for repairs. Minister for primary and secondary education, N Mahesh has directed officers to enroll their students in schools close to relief centres. "Study centres will also be established at relief centres," he said.

To deal with the looming threat of epidemics,  doctors are visiting individual households to screen for vector- borne diseases, besides offering counselling and conducting health camps at the relief centres. As for those who have lost their homes in the disaster, the government intends to build houses  for them on 42 acres of land in seven villages. “A detailed assessment of the number of houses damaged will be done  before the construction begins,” said housing minister, U T Khader, who was in Kodagu on Thursday  

Minister for rural development and panchayat raj, Krishna Byregowda, who also visited the district, said work would begin shortly on temporarily repairing roads in the rural parts of the district to restore its connectivity. As 5000 kms of rural roads have been damaged,  the repairs will be done in phases and experts invited to test the soil. 

Meanwhile, a three- member team of the National Geographic Research Institute has set up a seismic monitoring centre in Navodaya school to closely monitor seismic activity in and around Kodagu.

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