ELURU/RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: Flood levels in River Godavari at Polavaram Project have increased once again, resulting in the road connectivity to 19 tribal villages in Polavaram Mandal of West Godavari district getting cut off. With this, people of these villages were living in constant fear that they might have to revisit the nightmare they saw in the first two weeks of August when they were surrounded by floodwater.
As on Friday evening, water-level at the project increased from 9 metres to 11.5 metres; at cofferdam, it reached 25.68 metres. Increased inflows from Sabari, a tributary of the Godavari that joins the main river upstream of Polavaram, has led to this situation. People were risking their lives by commuting on boats, with the Godavari flowing at dangerous levels. Pydipaka resembled an island as floodwater has surrounded the village. People in low-lying areas moved to safer places as a precautionary measure.
Incessant rains in the catchment areas of River Godavari has increased inflows into its tributaries — Sabari, Indravathi and Sileru.
As a result, 36 villages in Devipatnam Mandal submerged. Guvvalapalem, A Veeravaram, Toyyeru and Devipatnam were affected badly.
Water from Seetapalli Vagu overflowed on Friday and reached the Dandangi area. Ponds in Etapaka Mandal, at Nellipaka, Gowriedevipeta, Sitapuram, Mandigama and Murumuru, too, were flooded. By Friday evening, Godavari water-level at Etapaka reached 40 feet, resulting in submergence of fields in Gunadala, Nellipaka, Rayanapeta, Chodavaram, Totapalli, Gollagudem and Gannavaram. The water-level at Kunavaram reached 14 metres.
Overflowing water at Kondarajupeta foot over bridge hindered vehicular movement, making the traffic coming to a standstill. Polavaram spillway and spill channel were now under floodwater. Irrigation department officials said the discharge rate at the Dowleswaram Barrage stood at 5.5 lakh cusecs.