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On visit to flood-hit town, KCR floats conspiracy theory: Cloudbursts carried out by foreign powers

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced an immediate compensation of Rs 10,000 per family to those at flood relief camps. He said it was a miracle that the Kadem dam had withstood the flood.

godavari floodThe chief minister had to cancel his plan to conduct an aerial survey of the region around Bhadrachalam due to inclement weather. (Express file)

If Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is to be believed, cloudbursts may well be engineered by “foreign entities” to “destabilise” India. On Sunday, he floated this conspiracy theory to people at Bhadrachalam town who have been forced into relief shelters by the overflowing Godavari river.

“There is this new phenomenon called cloudburst. This is what happened in the Godavari region which caused the flood. There are reports that these cloudbursts are a conspiracy by foreign sources. They first did a cloudburst in Leh-Ladakh, then in Uttarakhand, and now in Godavari region. There are theories that these cloudbursts are being done to destabilise the country,” the chief minister claimed.

Heavy rains and inflows have led to a massive rise in water levels in the Godavari (though it started declining Saturday) at Bhadrachalam in Bhadradri Kothagudem district. Such massive water levels and flooding were last witnessed in 1986, some residents recalled. The state government has shifted several thousand people to relief camps.

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Rao visited the people in relief camps and announced the allocation of Rs 1,000 crore to construct colonies on higher ground where people will be shifted. He promised Rs 10,000 per family as immediate relief during their stay there as well as free rice and essential commodities when they return home.

Rao also said that the Kadem dam on the Godavari tributary of the same name withstood the floods miraculously. “It is God’s miracle that the dam survived. Its maximum capacity is about 2.90 lakh cusecs but during this flood, it reached 5 lakh cusecs and it is a miracle it is still standing. Thankfully, there is no loss of life in spite of the heavy floods,” he said.

Rao was slated to carry out an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas but had to put-off the plan owing to poor weather. He reached Warangal by helicopter and proceeded by road to assess the extent of the flooding and the damage.

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The CM also inspected the overflowing river from the Godavari bridge.

Responding to requests from people living in low-lying areas — who are often affected by floodwater from the Godavari — the CM promised to build a residential colony at a higher location and relocate all families there. “Singareni and the state government will allocate at least Rs 1,000 crore to build the residential colony. Once we are out of this situation, I will send a team to conduct the survey and suggest where the construction can take place,’’ he said.

The CM also cautioned officials not to relax because rains are expected to continue till the month end. He directed health authorities to start spraying disinfectants as the waters recede and warned about the threat of epidemic. Rao said medical and health teams from neighbouring districts, including doctors from Mahatma Gandhi Medical College at Warangal, will be deployed to the Bhadradri Kothagudem district to assist the local medical teams.

WITH INPUTS FROM PTI

First published on: 17-07-2022 at 14:50 IST
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