Five deaths in last two months: Prakasam Barrage fast becoming sought-after suicide point

The jump from the barrage into the river becomes all the more fatal because there is no rescue mechanism in place.  

Published: 14th February 2018 05:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2018 10:54 AM   |  A+A-

Prakasam Barrage

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:  With no sophisticated surveillance mechanism present on the 1.2-km long Prakasam Barrage and in absence of proper ‘fencing’ that would have otherwise made the river water flowing underneath, inaccessible to people on the barrage, it has seemingly turned into a ‘suicide point’ for those people, who have lost their love for lives. The jump from the barrage into the river becomes all the more fatal because there is no rescue mechanism in place.    

The case of chartered accountant I Srinivasa Rao, who committed suicide on Tuesday by jumping into the river from the barrage, wasn’t an isolated one. There were around five such suicide cases registered in the past two months in the two police stations - One Town (Vijayawada) and Tadepalli (Guntur district) - responsible for manning the barrage. While a few incidents of suicides are reported, many go unreported, said a police source. 

On February 4, one MBA student Shaik Nagur jumped to his death from the top of the barrage after being chided by his father for getting poor marks in the examination. Students depressed over failure in examinations, couples disturbed by marital discord and people distressed by family disputes and other depressed people are increasingly looking at the famed Prakasam Barrage as a place from where they can discontinue their journey of life.

As the rate of suicides continues to spiral, the authorities in question, including the Irrigation Department officials prefer to look the other way. Despite many complaints pouring into the police stations and the irrigation offices, no concrete steps, apart from putting up iron mesh at some of the crest gates that has failed to act as a deterrent, have been taken by the authorities.   Shockingly, the fatal attraction of the barrage is not confined to the city or the rest of the Krishna district. People from the neighbouring districts of Guntur, West Godavari and East Godavari come to the barrage to end their lives. “There were a few incidents, in the past, when people from other districts came to Vijayawada and committed suicide by jumping into river Krishna at Prakasam Barrage,” said One Town circle inspector Kasi Viswanath.  

When contacted by the TNIE, the irrigation officials concerned said that putting up iron mesh at all the 76 crest gates and along the parapet wall on the other side was technically impossible. “It will become tough for us to conduct repair works to the gates if we instal iron mesh. Earlier, we tried to do that but the difficulty was realised later,” said Ravi Kiran, assistant engineer (Irrigation).

Startling statistics
There were around five such suicide cases registered in the past two months in the two police stations - One Town (Vijayawada) and Tadepalli (Guntur district). Students depressed over failure in exams, couples disturbed by marital discord and people distressed by family disputes and other depressed people are increasingly looking at the famed Prakasam Barrage as a place from where they can discontinue their journey of life. Despite many complaints pouring into the PS and irrigation offices, no concrete steps have been taken, apart from putting up iron mesh at some of the crest gates.

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