BELAGAVI/YADGIR:Three shepherds who were stranded on an island on Krishna river were rescued on Thursday by a team of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel. The shepherds, Somanagouda, Gaddeppa and Shekharappa aged between 19 and 21, had gone to the island with 80 sheep on Monday but were stranded as water levels in the river rose.
The island is located downstream of Narayanpur Dam in Surpur taluk, located around 120km from district headquarters Yadgir. The shepherds, all from Melinagaddi village in Yadgir district, had taken their cattle for grazing on Monday and could not return to their village the same day as water levels had risen. They anticipated that the water levels would go down the next day, but water levels continued to rise as the discharge from the dam had increased.
An NDRF official said the shepherds survived on sheep milk and at night, they slept between rocks on their towels. With no sign of water receding, the shepherds decided to contact their family members using a mobile phone they were carrying, on Wednesday evening. The district administration was informed and a rescue operation was launched. On Thursday, a team of NDRF from Hyderabad reached Supur and rescued the trio. A rescue personnel said as shepherds stay away from their families for long periods of time, their relatives did not inquire even when they did not return on Monday.
The catchment area of Krishna in Maharashtra has been receiving good rainfall and inflow to Almatti and Narayanpura dams on the downstream has increased, leading to an increase in discharge of water from these dams. On Thursday, the district administration cut down the outflow of the Narayanpur dam for a brief period so that rescue operation could be be carried out swiftly.