Flood-bank proposal awaits Govt nod
Woes of the poor living on river-bed to end if materialisedA D Gopi Vijayawada: The long wait of the residents of Ramalingeswara Nagar and...
Woes of the poor living on river-bed to end if materialisedA D Gopi Vijayawada: The long wait of the residents of Ramalingeswara Nagar and downstream for a flood-bank is set to end soon.A The irrigation department has sent a proposal to the State government for construction of flood-bank to protect the habitations from Krishna floods. The flood-bank will end the woes of residents of these areas with inundation every rainy season. The three-km long flood bank from Ramalinegeswara Nagar to Yanamalakuduru downstream is estimated to cost around Rs 105 crore. The demand for such a project has been long pending. Poor people who migrated to the city in search of livelihood erected huts along the river-bed braving the recurring flood threat. Every time when the river gets floods, the poor habitants are shifted to safer relief camps and they remain there for weeks together. In 2005, when the river received 7.50 lakh cusecs of flood water at Prakasam Barrage, the houses in Krishnalanka,Bhramarambapuram and Tarakarama Nagar were inundated despite the flood bank. The areas like Ramalingeswara Nagar and Yanamalakuduru were marooned in the flood water rendering thousands homeless. Though the Prakasam Barrage and the Krishna delta systems were designed for an intake of maximum of 11 lakh cusecs of water, poor maintenance of canals and drains in the delta for over 150 years has resulted in shrinkage of intake capacity. On October 6, 2009, when the Prakasam Barrage received the century's highest inflow of 10.61 lakh cusecs of water, several lakhs of people were rendered homeless and habitations down the stream were marooned. Though the river had received the highest ever flood of 25.4 lakh cusecs from Srisailam to Prakasam Barrage, only 10.61 cusecs were discharged from Prakasam Barrage, while the rest was spread over the State in the upstream, mostly inundating Kurnool and other places from Srisailam. According to the officials of the irrigation department, it was the highest flood that Prakasam Barrage received in the past 100 years.A Records available with the irrigation department show that in 1903, the Prakasam Barrage had received 10.30 lakh cusecs of water. The 2009 flood inundated the habitations both in the downstream and upstream of Prakasam Barrage creating havoc. On October 17, 1998, when the Prakasam Barrage received 9.32 lakh cusecs, it was proved that the delta systems or the downstream of the river cannot take such massive inflows. The recurring floods and the inundation of houses had made the then Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to visit the flood-hit in 2005 and promise a flood-bank. However, the proposal has been kept pending till now following his death in September 2009. But, the local legislator, Yalamanchili Ravi, took up the issue and lobbied it with the Irrigation Department and the State government and finally succeeded in getting the proposal prepared. The officials have also proposed removal of huts on the river- bed to start construction work for which there is resistance both from the people and the political parties as well.