Flood distress? Don’t call Belgaum helplines



By Sangamesh Menasinakai

23rd July 2011 02:59 AM

BELGAUM: The rain gods are showering misery on Belgaum district and if people in distress need any help, they have nowhere to look but above.

For, a reality check by the Express of the "24hour helplines" announced by the deputy commissioner on Wednesday, showed that affected people have no hope of getting any succor from them.

Express began by calling taluklevel helplines from 1.50 am to 3 am on Thursday. The result: Of the 10 taluks, only three were alert. Some calls were answered by servants who had no clue about the helplines.

After incharge deputy commissioner Ajay Nagbhushan had on Wednesday announced that new control rooms at all assistant commissioner and tahsildar offices would work around the clock. Express, at 9 pm, contacted the district control room number. The call reached a fax machine after a long ring. After five minutes, a staffer asked us to call after 10 minutes for the list of helpline numbers of other taluks.

Express called the same number at 1.50 am – just 10 hours after the DC’s press meet on Thursday – and sought helpline numbers of Raibag taluk. A sleepy voice at the other end said there was no electricity and finally gave the number.

On dialling the number (08331225247), the call reached a fax machine.

Express found that helplines opened by Belgaum City Corporation (BCC) were slightly better.

Calls made to 08312405316 were received but not answered. However, staff answered queries to a call made to another no. 08312405377.

Interestingly, a call was received in the morning by a contractor who asked for caller details.


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