KOPPAL: It was a harrowing time for a shepherd, his son, and over 100 sheep that were stuck on an islet for over a week near Gangavati in Koppal district as they were surrounded by roaring waters of the Tungabhadra river.
When a 16-member team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), summoned from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, finally pulled out Hanumappa and his son Hanumesh using boats, the feeling of gratitude was overwhelming for them. Their precious sheep and goats too were rescued by the team.
It was on August 4 that the shepherds from Mallapura village ventured onto the islet to graze their sheep. The waters rose fast and by evening, they were unable to cross the rapidly flowing river as the authorities had released 1.80 lakh cusecs from the Tungabhadra reservoir. The two shepherds made an SOS call from their mobile phone to the authorities, pleading for a rescue.
The district administration rushed the fire and emergency services personnel to the spot. But despite trying hard for over a week, the rescue workers could not reach the shepherds, who were under a makeshift shelter. District officials then contacted the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), who at last rescued the shepherds and sheep on Friday, said Assistant Commissioner Basavennappa Kalashetty. In fact, the district administration and Tungabhadra Project authorities have been cautioning people along the river basin not to venture into the river or proceed to nearby islets in Gangavati taluk.