With the water discharge from Basava Sagar (Narayanpur reservoir) built across Krishna river on the Yadgir-Raichur district border increasing substantially, 1,049 people from 312 families, including children and the elderly, residing on various islets formed by the river in Raichur and Lingsugur taluks were left stranded on Monday.

A total of 104 people from 14 families were stranded on different islets in Lingsugur taluk — 68 people from 10 families at Madaragaddi-Halagaddi, 22 from three families at Karakalagaddi, and 14 from one family in Onkaragaddi. Similarly, 495 people from 298 families were stranded on different islets in Raichur taluk. While 450 people were from 142 families of Kurvakula, 45 were from 16 families of Agrahara. Meanwhile, 450 people from 140 families were stranded on the Kurvakurda islets.

These people have been residing on these islets for generations and they often travel between their islets and the mainland by crossing the river on traditional coracles to purchase essential items and for other work. They remain unfazed even when four lakh cusecs of water is released from the reservoir as they live on the hilltops. They begin to worry only when the rate of discharge from the dam crosses six lakh cusecs.

As the discharge from the reservoir crossed 2.8 lakh cusecs on Monday, a 23-member team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) visited the villages and islets in Raichur taluk and took the stock of the situation.

‘Direction defied’

R. Venkatesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Raichur, told The Hindu that all the people from the three islets in Lingsugur taluk had been shifted to safer places a few days ago, but they had gone against the district administration’s direction and returned.

“We had anticipated the heavy discharge from Basava Sagar and evicted all the people from the three islets in Lingsugur taluk much before the water level in the river rose alarmingly. However, many people returned to their native islets. We will evict them again. The people on the islets in Raichur taluk are safe at present and we will think of evicting them if the discharge from the dam rises further,” the officer said.

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