Karnataka sounds flood alert as excess water is released in Krishna

Bengaluru: A flood alert has been issued in many villages of two border districts of Karnataka after excess rain water was released from Maharashtra into the Krishna river that flows through the state as downstream, an official said on Wednesday.

“People living in villages on the banks of Krishna and low-lying areas in Bagalkot and Belagavi districts have been put on alert after Maharashtra released excess water into the river following heavy rains in its catchment areas,” the official from the state natural disaster monitoring centre told IANS here.

Bagalkot Deputy Commissioner P.A. Meghannavar advised the people in Jamkhandi and Bilagi taluks of the district to move to safer places from the river banks to avoid being affected in the event of flooding.

“As 1.7 lakh cusecs of water has been released from Koyna Dam in Satara district in the neighbouing state into the river, measures are being taken to prevent any untoward incident if more water is released,” Meghannavar said in a statement from Bagalkot.

As the fourth biggest river (1,300 km) in terms water inflows and river basin area in the country, Krishna originates in the rich biodiversity hotspot Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and passes through Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, flowing out into the Bay of Bengal.

It is also a major source of irrigation in the four southern states.

“Residents in villages along the river course at Chikkodi and Raibag in Belagavi district have been advised to move away from the banks to safer places, as heavy rains in the region can cause flash floods due to raising water level in the tributaries,” the official pointed out.

Bridges across the river and its tributaries in low-laying areas are overflowing with rain water, disrupting vehicular traffic in the districts.

Though heavy rains receded in coastal and south interior areas of the state since Tuesday, moderate to light rains are likely to occur in north interior parts of the state during the next 24 hours, while one or two spells of rain have been forecast for Bengaluru and its neighbourhood, with strong surface winds under cloudy sky.

Chikkodi recorded 11 cm rainfall, followed by 7 cm each in Kadra in Uttara Kannada district and Kudachi in Belagavi district.