KHAMMAM: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced Rs 1,000 crore for the construction of houses for people living on the banks of the Godavari and frequently facing flooding problems in Bhadrachalam and Pinapaka divisions.
Around 1,500 to 2,000 families are affected by floods every year, he said. “I will come to Bhadrachalam and inaugurate your colony,” Rao told the flood-affected during his visit to the temple town and other flood-hit areas on Sunday.
Apart from a residential colony, a retaining wall around Bhadrachalam temple would be constructed and repairs would be taken up to the bund located on the Burgampadu side. Before interacting with the flood victims, the Chief Minister performed ‘shanti puja’ to the river goddess at the bridge.
Speaking to the media at the ITDA office meeting hall later, the Chief Minister announced an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 to each flood affected family. He also said that 20 kg of rice per flood-hit family would be distributed free of cost for the next two months.
Rao, who spent Saturday night in Warangal, reached Bhadrachalam by road, travelling by car in the flood-hit areas and crossing several small bridges which are still overflowing with rainwater. Later, he conducted an aerial survey from Bhadrachalam to Eturunagaram where he interacted with flood victims. He performed pujas to the Godavari at both Bhadrachalam and Eturunagaram.
The Chief Minister enquired about the facilities in relief camps for the flood-affected. “We took all the precautions. By God’s Grace, there is no human loss this time,” he said.
“The floods this year are unexpected. It is very moving that people have to suffer a lot every year,” Rao said, adding that floodwaters were reaching some colonies even if the water level touched 50 feet at Bhadrachalam.
The Chief Minister assured that a permanent solution to the problem would be found. “We never expected such a huge volume of water to reach the Kadam project. The flood flow was 5 lakh cusecs while the capacity is just 3 lakh cusecs. Due to God’s Grace, we came out relatively unscathed,” Rao said.
He said a study would be conducted with IIT professors, Central Water Commission and State government officials soon to find a permanent solution to protect Bhadrachalam and other villages. “After the report is released, permanent steps would be taken,” Rao said.
He instructed Collector D Anudeep and other officials to measure the contour levels of Bhadrachalam for the study. The CM all officials to remain on high alert as the flood threat wasn’t fully gone since more rains are forecast till the end of July.
He directed the District Collector to allow flood victims to remain at the shelters for more time and not send them back home despite the floodwaters receding. “Ensure they are provided with all facilities,” Rao said. He also instructed the IG Y Nagi Reddy to stay put in the town for the next two days.
The CM had a word of praise for the revenue, police and Army personnel for ensuring there was no human loss. Replying to a question about the Andhra Pradesh government not constructing the flood bank in Yetapaka village which causes a threat to Bhadrachalam, the CM said: “We will discuss it with the AP government and resolve the issue as AP is not in Pakistan.”