KADAPA: The unprecedented floods in Kadapa have devastated around two dozen villages in Rajampet and Nandalur mandals in the district. The villages were flooded after the earthen bund of the Annamayya project breached on Friday. The flash flood left a trail of destruction in the villages, washing away the hard-earned assets of the villagers, including livestock, the only source of income for many.
A day after the devastating floods, grief and anger were visible among villagers, who blamed the officials for storing water till the bund buckled. Several houses collapsed in the torrential rains and gushing water. Standing crops were destroyed, and uprooted electric poles added to the woes.
Carcasses of cattle were seen scattered in the villages. Many roads were still partially submerged, and many others washed away, reflecting the traumatic experience of the villagers. Even though rains have abated, the woes of people have not diminished in Rajampet and Nandalur mandals, where several villages were still remained inundated.
Besides food grains and essentials stored in the houses that were washed away, fodder kept for the cattle was also lost.
2,000 find shelter in relief camps
Around 2,000 people have sought shelter in relief camps, where they were being provided food, water and medical aid. People of Pulapatthuru, Bagidipalle, Thogurpeta, Gundluru, Mandapalli, Ramachand r a p u r am, Mandapalli Harijanawada, Seshambapuram Agraharam, Paparajupalle of Rajampet mandal, Nagireddypalle, Paturu, Lebaka, Narayana Nellore, Mandaram Rachamapalle, Tanguturu, Iskapalle, Pothappi, Kothapirachpalle , Kummrapalle , Peganluru,Obili, Jettivaripalle, Indluru in Nandalur mandal were caught unawares when the flood water from the Annamayya project gushed into their villages on Friday morning.
“The flood took with it our cattle, which we have acquired over the past 10 years. We used to get 20 liters of milk a day and it was our only source of income. What should I do now to survive? What is the use of such a project, which washed away our cattle. It is better to demolish it down,” said Sarita (name changed) of Mandapalli in Rajampet mandal. The grieving woman blamed the officials for doing nothing even as the water level rose in the project over the past eight days.
“Why did they not release it earlier?” she asked. K Srinivaslu, Kumar, and Shankariaha of the same village said they had sensed trouble and even alerted the project officials. “We wanted them to release the water in advance to avoid the flood. They did not listen to our warnings,” said Srinivasulu. M Ramanareddy of Paturu village in Nandalur mandal, said, the flood waters had washed away his crop and livestock, leaving him a pauper. “I am left with nothing, not even a grain of food,” he rued.
Though the discharge capacity of Annamayya Project on Cheyyeru river, a tributary of Penna River near Pulapattur village in Rajampet mandal, is 2.85 lakh cusecs, it could only discharge 2.48 lakh cusecs at the most. For the past several days, one of the five gates of the project has been defunct and the remaining four were not fully functional. Though officials were trying to have them repaired, there has been a delay.
Villagers blame annamayya officials
Several villagers in the flash flood-hit areas blamed the officials for not releasing water earlier. Around two dozen villages were flooded after the earthen bund of the Annamayya project breached on Friday