As Godavari rises, lanka, Agency residents in jitters

As Godavari rises, lanka, Agency residents in jittersRisking their lives, people travelling in a country boat across River Godavari at Devipatnam in East Godavari district
Highlights

As every year, the rising flood level in Godavari river is giving jitters to residents of lanka (island) as well as agency areas as they cannot move to any other place during the flood owing to absence of any means of transport except risky country boats.

Rajamahendravaram: As every year, the rising flood level in Godavari river is giving jitters to residents of lanka (island) as well as agency areas as they cannot move to any other place during the flood owing to absence of any means of transport except risky country boats.

As there are no bridges on the rivers Godavari, Vasista, Vynetaya and other tributaries, the people residing in the lanka areas are forced to travel in country boats to cross the rivers in the district. Lack of roads in the Agency area is forcing the tribal people there to travel in country boats. Though the TDP government began laying of roads and construction of bridges, they have not been finished in many areas.

In East Godavari district, the people residing in 90 lanka villages are depending on country boats to cross the rivers even in during severe floods, rains and gales, risking their lives. The villages in Mummidivaram, I Polavaram, K Gangavaram, Atreyapuram, Tallarevu, Mamidikuduru, Allavaram, Katrenikona, Kapileswarapuram, Sitanagaram, and VR Puram are dependent on country boats for their transport needs.

In May last year, 19 people died when a motor launch drowned in River Godavari at Mantur near Devipatnam in agency area. The people were forced to travel in the launch due to lack of road facility along river in the tribal area.

Two months later in July, six students met watery grave when a boat capsized in Godavari at Pasuvulanka village under I Polavaram mandal. The tragedy occurred while they were returning home during severe flood after participating in Vanam-Manam programme at Pasuvulanka. As there is no bridge on the river, the students were crossing the river in country boats.

Speaking to The Hans India, district collector K Muralidhar Reddy said plans were ready to shift the people to safer places if the flood reaches alarming level at the lanka areas. Bridges connecting lanka areas to other parts on River Godavari in the district were under construction and roads were also laid in some areas and plans are afoot to lay roads in the remaining parts.

"At any cost, steps will be taken to protect the people, mainly in lanks areas, in case of floods," the collector said. Recently, a meet on flood preparedness was also held and departments concerned were directed to take all necessary steps in this regard, he added.

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