MANDAPALLE (KADAPA): Rayalaseema in general and Kadapa in particular is synonymous with drought and deficit rainfall. A couple of mandals in Rajampet Assembly constituency, however, are an exception to it as they resemble fertile Konaseema in East Godavari district. This is all because of the Cheyyeru river, which is the lifeline of people here. Farmers of Cheyyeru ayacut cultivate three crops, including paddy, a year.
The same Cheyyeru has now left people of at least 10 villages in despair by causing widespread devastation. All their belongings were swept away in the deluge caused by the breach of Annamayya project bund. The prosperous Eguva Mandapalle and Diguva Mandapalle became impoverished in a blink of an eye.
Not just crops, even houses, household articles and livestock, were swept away in the deluge of Cheyyeru, which the people of twin villages described as apocalypse. “I am left with nothing and my entire family is on the road now. If the government does not help us, we have no other choice but to die,” said M Subbarayudu of Mandapalle, breaking into tears. He raised paddy crop in his six acres of land, investing Rs 1.5 lakh. He expected a bumper crop yield this season. But the paddy crop was completely ravaged by the Cheyyeru deluge.
He recalled the days when his village was brimming with prosperity and happiness. The people had lost everything, including their Aadhaar and ration cards in the deluge. Now, a majority of them are staring at an uncertain future. Both the villages have a population of around 1,500 and most of them are engaged in agriculture, with paddy being the primary crop.
Horticulture crops like mango, banana and papaya are also raised in the two villages. The villages are also in the forefront in dairy farming.Thirteen people from the village were swept away in the deluge. Nearly 100 houses were badly damaged. According to a preliminary estimate, horticulture crops in 300 acres were lost. The deluge-hit villagers said they got just Rs 5,800 as immediate relief.
“I cultivated paddy in five acres by borrowing Rs 1 lakh. Now, everything is lost. It needs several lakhs of rupees to reclaim by sand-cast land. I hope the government will come to our rescue,” said Ramachandra of Mandapalle.
Heavy rains in coastal Andhra likely
Heavy to very heavy rain (7 to 20 cm) is likely to occur over Prakasam and Nellore of south coastal Andhra and Chittoor, Kadapa and Anantapur of Rayalaseema on Sunday. Heavy rain (7 to 11 cm) is likely over Guntur in coastal AP and Kurnool in Rayalaseema. A low-pressure area is likely to form over south Andaman Sea around Nov 29. It is likely to become more marked during subsequent 48 hours