RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: With Godavari in spate, the administration of East and West Godavari districts has sounded an alert along the river banks and adjacent areas. The flood discharge from the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowleswaram was 8 lakh cusecs at 6 pm on Thursday.
East Godavari District Incharge Collector G Lakshmisha said the water level at upstream Bhadrachalam in Telangana touched 43.40 metres and the first flood warning was issued. The water level at Dowleswaram reached 10.20 metres. The first flood warning is issued when the water level reaches 11.75 feet at the Dowleswaram barrage.“There is a possibility of more inflows into the Dowleswaram barrage. Officials should be on high alert and take all steps to mitigate the loss of crops and livestock,’’ Lakshmisha said. He directed the officials to shift people of downstream villages to relief camps.
The erosion of river banks is giving sleepless nights to the people living in villages adjacent to Godavari. Dowleswaram Head Works Executive Engineer G Srinivasa Rao said they have identified 30 to 35 weak points along the river bunds and a strategy is being evolved to prevent floods. There are 25 lanka villages in three Godavari tributaries of Gowthami, Vasishta and Vainateya. “The inflows into the barrage now stand at 8 lakh cusecs. They are expected to go up to 10 lakh cusecs by Saturday evening,’’ he said.
19 Polavaram villages flooded; 1st warning at Kunavaram
Meanwhile, the water level at Polavaram upper cofferdam reached 33 metres and it is expected to touch 35 metres by Friday morning. A total of 19 villages in Polavaram mandal were submerged. Some people moved to nearby hillocks by erecting temporary shelters instead of shifting to Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) colonies.
In Devipatnam mandal, rehabilitation centres for flood victims were set up at the tribal welfare school, Kakawada, upper primary school, Pothavaram, and girls school, Sitapalli. Sub-Collector Katta Simhachalam appealed to people not to cross overflowing streams and canals. Meanwhile, the first flood warning was issued at Kunavaram where Sabari joins Godavari as the water level reached 17.86 metres. With the steady rise in water level, irrigation officials are closely monitoring the situation at island villages in Mummidivaram and Katrenikona mandals of Konaseema to take up relief and rehabilitation measures.