VIJAYAWADA: With heavy rains in the upper riparian States of Krishna basin Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra, the major reservoirs and barrages across Andhra Pradesh witnessed heavy inflows. For the first time in three years, on Sunday, the Water Resources department lifted 40 crest gates of Prakasam Barrage to let the surplus water downstream.
Due to heavy flooding, road connectivity in parts of East Godavari, Krishna and other districts was cut off. And with weathermen forecasting rains for the next 24-48 hours in coastal areas, the Water Resources Department said that more inflows were expected to reach all the major projects.
In Vijayawada, over 40,000 cusecs of water reached Prakasam Barrage in the day, following which 40 gates were opened. “The flow decreased by evening. However, by night, it was intense. We expect another 30,000 cusecs to reach the barrage from Munneru, Paleru and others on Monday,” Superintending Engineer of Vijayawada division, KVLNP Choudary, told TNIE. He added that close to one TMC of water had been let downstream on Sunday. The department had released 0.87 TMC of water in July, for the first time after a complete dry 2017.
Similarly, with the flow of Godavari rising, water level at Dowaleswaram Barrage reached 13.9 mtrs by afternoon.
About 2.56 lakh cusecs of water was released from the barrage into the sea, while 9,600 cusecs was diverted to fields. Due to continuous rains, ponds and tanks overflowed, affecting the road connectivity in around 30 remote villages of Vararachandrapuram mandal.
Trees were uprooted, obstructing the movement of traffic on the inter-State road from Maredumilli to Chintur. APSRTC bus services between Bhadrachalam, Upper Sileru, Rajamahendravaram and Kakinada were suspended. The Tungabhadra Dam and Almatti in Kurnool district too were brimming with flood water.
Officials said after Karnataka released water from its side, the level in Tungabhadra dam was almost full. Against its full capacity of 100.66 TMC, the dam has 96.45 TMC of water. The dam received 74,000 cusecs of inflows on Sunday. Almatti has about 128.19 TMC of flood water as against its capacity of 129.72 TMC. The dam received 30,900 cusecs of water, and officials released 30,900 cusecs from the dam in Maharashtra to Krishna river. The flows from Sunkesula and Jurala were also released to Tungabhadra and Krishna Rivers, which were diverted to Srisailam reservoir.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department issued a heavy rainfall warning across Coastal Andhra Pradesh. Speaking to TNIE, In-charge Director of IMD, Hyderabad Centre, K Naga Ratna said, “Currently, we have normal monsoon which is active over coastal AP and slightly weak over Rayalaseema. The cyclonic winds are carrying forward and the low pressure is very likely to occur in North Bay of Bengal. As of now, due to active circulation of winds, about 6-10 cm of rainfall is being registered. The impact of low pressure will be more on northern districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram which will receive heavy rains.” Officials said that the seas would be rough and warned fishermen against venturing into waters.
From Saturday night to Sunday morning, very heavy rain occurred at isolated places in East Godavari, Srikakulam and West Godavari and heavy rain occurred at isolated places in Guntur, Krishna, Prakasam and Visakhapatnam of Coastal Andhra Pradesh. On Sunday, moderate rains occurred in district Kurnool and Kadapa of Rayalaseema region. With the influence of cyclonic circulation of winds, a low pressure is likely to occur in the next 24 hours in Bay of Bengal.