ELURU /RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM/ KURNOOL / VIJAYAWADA: As heavy inflows into Godavari river continue with water-level reaching the danger mark, authorities on Saturday sounded the first warning bell at Pushkar Ghat in Rajamahendravaram. Bathing in the river at the ghat has also been banned as a precautionary measure.
While the rising Godavari level continues to add to the misery of the submerged villages in Polavaram mandal, copious inflows into Krishna river at Srisailam Reservoir is something to cheer about for farmers and agriculture officials.
Around 400 villages in agency areas of Godavari districts were submerged in floodwaters and people in several of these villages were shifted to relief centres. Similarly, several river islets and villages along the river course were facing flood threat.
Due to heavy rains in the upper catchment areas of the river, inflows into Godavari were increasing by the hour. At 6 pm on Saturday, floodwater, at a discharge rate of 11,10,953 cusecs, was released from 175 gates of Dowleswaram barrage in Rajamahendravaram. The inflows at the barrage also stood at 11,10,953 cusecs.
Meanwhile, officials said the second warning bell at the Ghat was expected to be sounded around Saturday midnight or early hours of Sunday as the outflows would cross 13 lakh cusecs-mark.As many as 4,000 people were shifted from flood-hit Devipatnam, Toyyeru, Agraharam, Dandangi and A Veeravaram mandals to relief camps at Damannapalli, Musurimilli and Rampachodavaram.
“People are being shifted to relief camps as villages are under floodwater. As many as 20 RTC buses and several tractors have been engaged for the purpose. NDRF and SDRF teams are working in coordination to evacuate people from flood-hit villages,” said Nishanth Kumar, Project Officer, ITDA-Rampachodavaram.
Boats, buses, tractors, solar lamps and tarpaulins blankets are kept ready for relief works. Deputy Chief Minister (Revenue) Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, Collector Muralidhar Reddy, SP Nayeem and other officials visited flood-affected villages in Devipatnam and other parts of East Godavari to take stock of the situation.
Around 2,100 people from 36 river islets, including Bduguvarilanka and Eduru Lanka, were shifted to relief camps. Similarly, 105 elders and 127 children from Boba Lanka and Jalimudi of Seethanagaram mandal were also shifted to relief camps in Rajamahendravaram.
Meanwhile, 19 agency villages in Polavaram, which have been cut off from the mainland for the past six days, were provided essential commodities with the help of powerboats. Officials said that they were prepared to shift people from those villages if flood levels increase further.According to West Godavari Collector R Mutyala Raju, situation in the marooned villages, particularly those in Velerupadu, Kukunuru and Polavaram mandals, was being closely monitored. He visited Velerupadu to supervise relief operations.
Floodwater at Polavaram project is flowing two-metre above the spillway, and it reached 28-metre mark at the cofferdam. Project engineers are closely monitoring the situation.
NDRF and SDRF teams, fire personnel, revenue and police officials have been put on high alert in the twin Godavari districts. DGP Gautam Sawang, in a release, said the personnel deployed were equipped with satellite phones and drones to assist in rescue and relief operations.Also, Indian Meteorological Department has issued heavy rainfall warning in three north coastal, Godavari districts till August 7. A fresh low pressure area is likely to form over northeast Bay of Bengal and its neighbourhood in the next 48 hours, it said.
On Saturday, light to moderate rains were reported from several parts of Godavari Godavari districts; Krishna and Visakhapatnam agency experienced overcast conditions.Meanwhile, copious inflows into Srisailam reservoir from Jurala project continued, following heavy rains in the upper catchment areas. At 6 pm on Saturday, inflows into the project were at 2,10,800 cusecs and water levels touched 850 feet. Project officials said they expect water levels to cross 855 feet by Sunday morning and 860 feet by the evening. Srisaialm is likely to reach its full reservoir level of 885 feet this season.
Affected to get essential commodities for free
The State government on Saturday issued an order for distribution of essential commodities at free of cost to all the eligible families of 32 habitations in Devipatnam mandal and other inundated villages. Following a request by East Godavari collector, the government instructed the Civil Supplies department to take necessary action for distribution of products to flood victims
Jagan takes stock of situation from Israel
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is on a personal visit to Israel, has enquired about the flood situation in Godavari river. He spoke to officials over the phone and directed them to shift people from inundated areas to relief centres. “Essential commodities should be distributed to all flood-affected people and the administration should be in a position to face any situation,” he said