Karnataka rains: Flood claims 12 lives in Kodagu; coffee, spice plantations severely damaged

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Karnataka flood: Coffee and spice plantations have been severely hit as incessant rains and landslides hit Karnatakas Kodagu district in the past few days. Apart from coffee, several spices like black pepper and cardamom have also suffered major damages. According to Industry experts, due to the unprecedented rains, they expect about 50 per cent drop in coffee output in the three districts of Kodagu, Chikkamagalur and Sakleshpur (Hassan). These three districts produced around 70 per cent of Indias total coffee. Speaking to Times of India, Vinay Chengappa, who is a member of Karnataka Coffee Planters Association said, Because of the rains, coffee berries have fallen off and there is an outbreak of fungal diseases. KC Kallappa, a retired Army officer, had invested all his lifes savings in developing a four-acre barren land for a coffee plantation in Madikeris Mukkodlu village. But last Friday, the whole plot reduced into a pile of mud. Over hundreds of people remained stranded on hilltops, towns and villages in the rain-hit districts. Several teams of army, navy and NDRF are working closely for rescue and relief operations. The Met office has predicted more rainfall in coastal districts of Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada till tomorrow (Wednesday). Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy appealed to the Centre for an assistance of Rs 100 crore for badly hit Kodagu district. Speaking to media in Bengaluru, Kumaraswamy said, The Prime Minister has announced relief of Rs 500 Crore for Kerala, we expect at least Rs 100 Crore for Kodagu. We will request the central government for it. We have to repair roads for connectivity. We are taking help of the Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), reports ANI. On Monday, the state government led by Kumaraswamy had announced Rs 3,800 cash and food grains as initial compensation for each of the rain-hit families. The CM had also announced that the government will build 2,000 temporary tin sheds for those who have lost their homes. The Chief Minister has said that a total of 12 people have died due to the deluge in the rain-battered Kodagu district. In all, 12 people have lost their lives. 845 houses have been damaged out of which 773 houses are partially damaged, said Kumaraswamy. About 6,620 people have been shifted to 50 relief camps so far. The state is battling with incessant rain and flood since last week. On Tuesday, a minister in the government of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy urged the common people not to send food material for the flood victims as there is enough stock but lack of space to store. The minister further asked the people to donate money to the Chief Ministers relief fund instead of sending relief materials. Speaking to ANI, SR Mahesh, District-in-charge Minister of Kodagu said, I request people to not to send more relief food material and instead transfer money to Chief Ministers funds as there is already enough food material. Mahesh further said, There is no space left to store more retail stuff. Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has lauded the people of Karnataka for working together at a time of natural calamity and called it a communal harmony. Sharing a video on Twitter, Congress president said, In Kodagu, Karnataka, massive floods have unleashed a trail of devastation. He also said, …….heres a great story about an oasis of hope, a small town, Suntikoppa, where Shiv, Ram, Christ, Allah and the Buddha are working together to help those in need. This is India!.