VIJAYAWADA: Heavy floodwater discharge from Prakasam Barrage following heavy inflows from Pulichintala project for the fifth consecutive day on Friday left several residential areas inundated, prompting officials to set up more relief camps.
As the situation continued to remain grim, a total of 41 relief camps have been set up at municipal schools, colleges and Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium, where 8,100 people are taking shelter.
This is the first time in a decade such heavy flood was witnessed in the river Krishna, leading to lifting of 72 gates of the Prakasam Barrage.
A second warning was sounded on Friday at the Prakasam Barrage after the water level rose to seven lakh cusecs in the reservoir.
“We are happy that we could at least save our lives. We don’t know what will be left of our belongings in our homes and how long we will have to stay here,” lamented Rajamma, 73, who is taking shelter at a relief camp set up at Mandal Parishad Prathamika Unnatha Pathashala at Badrirajapalem.
Electricity has not yet been restored in any of the affected areas. “We have had no electricity for the past three days.
We have lost all means of communication as there is no way of charging our mobile phones,” said 42-year-old N Srinivas Rao, who works as a daily labourer in the city.
The schools are being run as usual though relief shelters for flood victim have been set up in the open areas of the premises, holidays may be declared for students in the event of inflows into the Prakasam Barrage rises to over 8.5 lakh cusecs.
The district administration has deployed 160 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel for relief work.
The road linking Amaravati (old town) and Vijayawada was cut off for the second consecutive day. Heavy vehicles were prohibited on the Prakasam Barrage to curtail traffic.
While the district and municipal authorities are making efforts on a war-footing to safeguard the affected, people in Ramalingeswara Nagar near Krishna Lanka, however, are reluctant to move to the relief camps. “If we leave our homes who will take care of our valuables. The camps have been set up at distant places,” said 60-year-old Khaja Begum, who works in Nalanda School.
On the other hand, Krishna District Collector A Md Imtiaz urged people to shift to the relief camps. “The water levels are expected to rise in the coming two to three days, worsening the situation for another week.
I request the people in the affected areas to worry about the safety of their lives first and move to relief camps where medical aid is also being provided.
If need be, the residents would be forcibly shifted to relief camps with the help of police, NDRF and SDRF personnel,” he said.
Later, he visited affected areas in Bhavanipuram. He directed the irrigation department officials to monitor the situation at Pulichintala project closely.
Making similar appeal to the people, VMC Commissioner Prasanna Venkatesh said, “There are many snakes in the floodwater.
I request the people to move to relief camps soon.” Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas visited Krishna Lanka. MLA Gadde Ramohan distributed food to the people there.
Children evacuated from various care homes
Vijayawada: As many as 100 children were evacuated from SKCV Children’s Trust at Bhavanipuram, after the area was inundated on Friday morning.
With the help of NDRF personnel, the trust employees shifted the children to a relief camp in Gandhinagar.
Of these 100 children, 32, who are students of National Child Labour Project (NCLP), were shifted to another relief camp, said trust chairperson Sridhar Reddy.
Krishna district collector Md Imtiaz visited the trust-building to oversee evacuation of the children. Children from two flooded State government-run homes — Chiguru and Prem Vihar — were also evacuated. The members of the Krishna district Child Welfare Committee visited the children in these temporary shelter homes and interacted with them. Emergency health units were also set up for the children.
No ‘selfies’ on Prakasam Barrage
Vijayawada: The police have urged the public to not take selfies on the Prakasam Barrage as there are greater chances of falling in the river Krishna due to the heavy winds induced by the release of floodwater.
In a press release, Vijayawada city commissioner of police Ch Dwaraka Thirumala Rao said that traffic restrictions were imposed under which only two-wheelers will be allowed on the barrage until the situation comes under control.
He further asked the public not to create inconvenience by stopping vehicles on the barrage road. “Only two-wheelers are allowed on the Barrage. Other vehicles will have to take the Varadhi to reach Tadepalli and Guntur,” he said.