Historic MoU between MIA and PRED to prevent flooding

For the first time in the history of the 70-year-old Mangaluru International Airport (MIA), its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds of up to Rs 7 crore were used to finance construction works. stormwater drainage in the village of Malavoor du Gram Panchayat, on the outskirts of town.

Until 2018, Malavoor, Kenjar, Karambar and the surrounding villages at the north end of the airport did not have storm drains but natural “nalahas” (thodu) which eventually flowed into the river. Palguni.

After the crash of Air India Express flight 812 in 2010, the Court of Inquiry (CoI) and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) made it compulsory for the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to increase the runway width 75 to 150 meters, on the north side of the existing airstrip in MIA.

Subsequently, the state government allocated 36 acres of land free of charge to AAI for the runway extension. Upon completion of the runway, the district administration insisted on a proper stormwater drainage system, as the elevation of the table airport was over 100 meters from the villages below.

AAI refusal

AAI, however, refused to finance the work and argued that it cannot resume any work beyond its jurisdiction. On May 29, 2018, the district and the airport area experienced heavy rainfall of between 300 and 330 mm.

In the absence of suitable outlets, water and silt from the runway flooded the houses and rice fields of Malavoor and Karambar located in the foothills of the airport.

Due to the large-scale destruction of properties and crops, Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had rushed into the villages and attacked officials.

Following pressure from all sides, AAI, with the help of hydraulics and applied mechanics, NITK, undertook an investigation in the village of Malavoor and decided to build a storm water drainage system in Malavoor, initially at a cost of Rs 15.72 crore.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding

After a joint inspection by officials of the IAA and the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department (PRED), the cost of the project was reduced to Rs 6.75 crore.

On September 14, 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Director of MIA, VV Rao, representing AAI, and PRED representing the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada.

In the MoU, the MIA and the Engineering Department agreed to design and construct a drainage system, in accordance with the standards of the National Disaster Management System, to prevent future flood-like situations.

In May 2019, following requests from local elected officials, additional work worth more than Rs 67 lakh was added.

Then Malavoor Panchayat AOP Venkatramana Prakash said the work was completed and handed over to the panchayat (now modernized as Town Panchayat) in May 2020.

Based on information obtained from MIA and PRED under RTI by DH, the works were carried out at a cost of Rs 7,39,01,998.

According to the MoU, a retaining wall and seven storm drains were constructed at a total cost of over Rs 6.16 crore.

G Wilfred Mathias, a resident of Karambar, said all the rainwater from the trail had been unscientifically diverted to the storm drain (# 3 in Padebettu). So, in order to avoid a repeat of the 2018 floods, he had built a new house lower down.

Information in the context of an RTI revealed that the entrepreneur, Anwar Sadath, had desalinated agricultural land at an estimated cost of Rs 39 lakh.

Jayashankar Shetty from Karambar Gutthu said DH that the airport silt deposited at his farm at 30 cents was never removed.

“Due to the silt deposit my farm stopped producing. I haven’t received any compensation so far either, ”said Shetty.