KURNOOL: Kurnool city got a bitter taste of floods in 2007 prompting the district administration to propose to construct a wall to protect it from being inundated by floodwater from Tungabhadra Handri rivers. The fear proved right after two years in 2009.
The city and several parts of the district witnessed one of the worst disasters with Tungabhadra and Handri floods as well as backwaters of Srisailam inundating it. The destruction extended as far as Mantralayam. Ten years down the line the city once again is facing a similar threat as the proposed protection wall has not materialised.
After the 2007 floods, officials of irrigation department, Kurnool municipality and revenue designed a flood protection wall and put the cost estimation at Rs 150 crore. It had shot to Rs 240 crore after the 2009 floods, and now, if the government wants to take up the construction, it has to shell down around Rs 1,050 crore, according to irrigation officials.
Officials said the heavy rains in October 2009 in the catchment area of the Krishna River basin resulted in heavy inflows into the three rivers that merge in and around Kurnool city. The Handri and its tributary, the Vakkileru, join in the city. Similarly, the Handri and the Tungabhadra join together on the outskirts of the city and flow as Tungabhadra until it joins the river Krishna further downstream into Srisailam. Srisailam project was filled to the brim by the time Tungabhadra water reached there and the backwaters inundated Kurnool.
When asked about the status of the proposal to construct the protection wall, irrigation department protection wing executive engineer B Rajendra Prasad said they re-sent the proposals in 2013, but there was no response from the government.
“The government has sanctioned some funds for the construction of Joharapuram road bridge, widening and cleaning works of Suddavagu and Handri as part of flood protection measures,’’ he said and added Kurnool MLA Hafeez Khan is now pursuing the wall proposal plan with the government as per the 2009 proposal.
“We are receiving applications during the weekly Spandana programme appealing to the government to build the wall,’’ the executive engineer said.
All About the Wall
Proposed on the outskirts of the city to prevent Tungabhadra and Handri floods inundating the city.
First proposed after 2007 floods.
Rs 150 crore Estimated cost of the project in 2007
It was given a push after the 2009 devastating floods
Rs 240 crore Estimated cost in 2009
The project cost is estimated at around Rs 1050 crore based on present rates