After the deluge and landslides, Kodagu is now seeing an influx of tourists, who are happy taking selfies besides collapsed homes or other signs of the disaster, much to the anger of the locals. So fed up are the villagers of Kaluru near Madikeri with such insensitivity that they have now requested the Kodagu deputy commissioner to put a stop to this new trend of “ disaster tourism.”
Although the government had banned tourism in Kodagu following the devastation it suffered in the recent rain and floods, the ban was lifted last week after homestay and resort owners pleaded with the district administration to allow it. But no sooner was the ban lifted then the weekend saw an unprecedented number of tourists flocking to the district to visit the landslide- hit areas. Worse, they took selfies with people, who have been left homeless or have suffered in the disaster. Some of the labourers on coffee estates too obliged to pose for the selfies in return for money, angering the plantation owners, who found their work being affected In their petition, the Kaluru villagers said they were struggling to make a living after their houses, paddy fields and coffee estates were washed away in the recent rain havoc and the influx of tourists was not only disturbing them, but was also causing worry about fresh landslides being triggered by the sudden activity.
The villagers requested the district administration not to allow any tourists in places like Mandalpatti till the rehabilitation work was completed.
Central team visits Kodagu
A central team visited Kodagu on Wednesday and assessed the situation following the recent landslides and floods. The team comprised of Anil Mallik, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Home affairs, Jitendra Paanwar Superintendent Engineer, Water Resources department, Ponnuswamy, Joint Director, Agriculture Department. They met Kodagu DC Ms PI Srividhya, Special Addditional DC, M.K. Jagdeesh and others. They also visited several affected areas including Mukkodlu, Jambooru, Hattihole, Kaandanakolli and Haaleri. Mysuru Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, MLAs K G Bopaiah, ppachchuranjan and others accompanied the Central team. Kodagu district minister Sa Ra Mahesh distributed new clothes for the Gowri and Ganesha festival, among the victims at the relief centres in Kodagu.