As Godavari river swells, Andhra, Telangana authorities begin rescue operations
An irrigation official in Andhra Pradesh said this is for the first time in the last 100 years that the Godavari river received such huge floods in the beginning of the monsoon in July
Heavy rains in the catchment areas of the Godavari river and its tributaries in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh in the last three days led to massive floods, disrupting normal life in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
An irrigation official in Andhra Pradesh said this is for the first time in the last 100 years that the Godavari river received such huge floods in the beginning of the monsoon in July. The inflow and outflow at Dowleshwaram barrage was 1.507 million cusecs, resulting in inundation of several island villages in Konaseema district.
State special chief secretary (disaster management) G Sai Prasad, who has been monitoring the flood situation from the control room in state secretariat said a third danger signal would be sounded on Thursday morning at Dowleshwaram, for evacuation of people in the Konaseema islands to safer places.
“In all, five NDRF and four SDRF teams have been pressed into service to meet any eventuality between Wednesday night and Thursday morning,” he said.
For the first time, the irrigation authorities lifted all the 48 hydraulic radial gates of Polavaram major irrigation project, to their full potential to release 1.5 million cusecs of water through the spill channel.
According to M Muddukrishna, chief general manager of Polavaram project, though the project is still under construction, the lifting of all 48 gates was done to release flood water to the downstream through the approach channel, spillway, spill channel and pilot channel, spread across 6 kilometres, which proved the efficiency of the project.
“The hydraulic gates installed at Polavaram are so gigantic that they can withstand a pressure of 50 lakh cusecs of flood water. This is exponentially larger than the Three Gorges Dam in China, which can withstand only 41 lakh cusecs of flood water,” he said.
Flood situation in Telangana
The heavy inflows into the Godavari river filled all the major irrigation projects in north Telangana to their brim, forcing the irrigation department to release water to the downstream.
At Kadem reservoir in Adilabad, the water level reached Full Reservoir Level of (FRL) of 700 ft on Wednesday morning and the officials issued a red alert and asked villagers residing in low-lying areas to be careful. Similar situation was witnessed at Mid Manair Dam (MMD) in Karimnagar.
The water level in Godavari River at Bhadrachalam in Kothagudem district has been rising rapidly and reached the third warning level of 53 feet at Bhadrachalam at 11.55 am on Wednesday. At 4 pm, the water level was 53.10 feet.
District Collector Anudeep Durishetty, in a statement, said there was a possibility of further rise and the water level might reach 63 feet. The government machinery in the district was on high alert.
At the Devadula project in Warangal district, the flood water entered the Devadula lift irrigation scheme phase-3. The tunnel, pump house and surge pool in Segment-3 were inundated by the flood water.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced extension of holidays for all the educational institutions till Saturday, in the wake of heavy rains and floods in various districts.
KCR instructed the officials to speed up the rescue operations on war footing in the wake of incessant rains and the rivers and reservoirs receiving heavy inflows. He asked Special Chief Secretary to Finance K Ramakrishna Rao to release required funds instantly to take up flood safety operations during the heavy rains and floods.
State Chief Secretary and DGP have been asked to take immediate measures in the wake of the rain related problems in the state. The chief minister appealed to people not to venture out of their homes.
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