Andhra Pradesh rains: Godavari in spate as many villages flooded, districts put on high alert
As a third flood warning signal has been issued for Bhadrachalam, which is located upstream of the Polavaram project, as water resources department officials expect the floodwater to swell further.
RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM/VIJAYAWADA: As rains continue to batter Telangana and Chhattisgarsh, inflows to the River Godavari increased on Monday. A high alert has been sounded in Agency areas of Eluru, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Rampachodavaram region), Dr BR Ambedkar Konaseema, and East and West Godavari districts.
As of 5:25 pm on Monday, surplus water was released downstream of Dowaleswaram barrage at 7.2 lakh cusecs and is expected to cross 10 lakh mark by midnight, after which the first level warning is likely to be issued.
As a third flood warning signal has been issued for Bhadrachalam, which is located upstream of the Polavaram project, as water resources department officials expect the floodwater to swell further. With inflows rising by the hour at the project, all 48 gates were opened and nearly nine lakh cusecs of water was discharged downstream to Dowleswaram barrage.
Stating that the bunds at the waterbodies are being strengthened, Dowleswaram Superintendent Engineer Narasimha Murthy said, "We are closely monitoring the flood situation at the Polavaram project. Floodwater level at Polavaram spillway has risen to 32.1 metres. We expect it to rise for another 4-5 days."
Several villages upstream of the Polavaram project were inundated. The Gandi Pochamma Temple in Devipatnam mandal was completely submerged. Temple EO GV Lakshmi Kumar told The New Indian Express that the hundi and idols were shifted to a nearby hill.
Meanwhile, tribals in Kondamothalu area in Devipatnam mandal were reluctant to vacate their houses since they have not been paid compensation so far.
Tahsildar Veerabhadra Rao and SI KV Nagarjuna visited the tribal villages and supervised their evacuation. Villagers of Gonduru were shifted to safer places.Power supply was affected at Chodavaram, Nellipaka, and Bandirevu villages in Yatapaka revenue division of Alluri district.
Minister visits Polavaram project, directs officials to mitigate flood loss
Minister for Water Resources Ambati Rambabu along with principal secretary (Water Resources) Sasi Bhushan Kumar and senior officials of the department visited Polavaram project backwaters and took stock of the situation. The minister directed officials to ensure there is no loss of life and property due to floods.
Officials were instructed to ensure good food and proper care at the relief centres, where several people are being shifted from flood-affected areas. Control rooms have been set up at flood-prone mandals.
At Kunavaram, the confluence of Sabari and Godavari rivers, flood-level rose to 36 metres. In a three-hour rescue operation, Kunavaram police were able to save about 400 cows that were stranded in floodwater near a mango orchard opposite Gundamkonda in Kondrajupet village.
In response to an SOS by the village sarpanch, Kattam Lakshmi, the officers took up the operation, braving the rains.As vehicular traffic was affected due at VR Puram and Kunavarm mandals, two boats were used to transport ration and people who needed assistance.
As many as 13 villages of P Gannavaram and Allavaram mandals, Konaseema district were inundated. Revetments of Godavari sub-canals at Gantipedapudi and Chakalipalem villages were breached, resulting in inundation of the causeway between Kotipalle and Mukteswaram.
People from the 13 inundated villages including Udimudilanka, Arigelavarilanka, Buruglanka vilalges were shifted to flood relief camps. District collector Himanshu Shukla reviewed the situation and directed officials to evacuate people from 19 additional flood-prone villages immediately.
As of 5 pm on Monday, surplus water from the Prakasam barrage on the River Krishna in Vijayawada was released at a discharge rate of 40,700 cusecs. Of the total 72 gates, 50 were lifted to one feet high. There was no release of water from Pulichintala project, which is still 13 TMC short of full reservoir level (FRL).