When floodwaters cut off people of Muttuga from the outside world

It was two days of isolation with no potable water, food or power supply for them

People of Muttuga village in Kalaburagi district were a relieved lot on Friday as they managed to reconnect with the external world after two days of complete isolation and despair. Ever since the floodwaters of the Kagina entered about 500 houses of this village on Tuesday night, they have had to go without food, potable water, power supply or telephone connectivity.

Every one of the about 500 houses was inundated by the Kagina, a tributary of the Bhima, destroying food and other belongings. As the raging waters entered their homes destroying everything in its path, some people climbed to the roofs of their houses and others rushed to safer places that were on a relatively higher altitude.

We ate a few biscuits that we had managed to save and drank the floodwater because there was no other choice. We had to spend nights in complete darkness and fear as there was no electricity. Since all mobile networks were dead, we could not contact any outsider for help. None from outside, including government servants, reached the village,” said Nagamma Natikar from the village. They are very worried about the future since most of the stocked grain and acres of standing crop are destroyed, besides buildings and houses.

After the floodwaters receded on Friday, the bridge emerged out of the river, restoring the physical connectivity. Electricity supply was not yet restored when The Hindu visited the village. The river was still in spate and gusty winds made even standing in an open area hard.

People in the flood-hit Honagunta village in Kalaburagi district standing in queue to collect drinking water from a tanker on Friday.  | Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

Honagunta is another village on the bank of the Kagina that was similarly hit by the floods. Situated at the point where the Kagina joins the Bhima, the village was flooded by both the rivers. Over 500 houses were inundated on Thursday night, destroying everything stocked. Though the village was surrounded by the floodwaters, people did not have water to drink.

When some government officials visited the village on Friday, an angry mob even attempted to assault them. The police had to intervene and pacify the mob with the assurance of providing drinking water. Within an hour, a water tank reached the village and people carrying empty pots were seen rushing towards it.

The overflowing Kagina has flooded over 3,000 acres of agricultural fields with red gram, cotton, sugarcane, and other crops in and around Honagunta. Hundreds of trucks could be seen parked for kilometres on Bidar–Srirangapatna national highway near Saradagi village as the connecting bridge near Jewargi was submerged in the Bhima waters.

Living in fear

Though the Kagina waters receded on Friday, the Bhima continued to be in spate as water at the rate of over 6 lakh cusecs was being released from the Sonna barrage.

Since a large quantum of water is being released from reservoirs in Maharashtra, the water level in the Bhima is expected to rise further. Villagers continue to live in fear of getting flooded yet again.

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