As the water level in the Godavari river at Telangana’s Bhadrachalam town continues to inch towards the danger level, around 800 people living on the river banks are ready to be evacuated at any moment if the water level surges past the third and final level warning of 53 feet.
The water level at 8 am Thursday stood at 51.70 feet, as compared to 50.70 feet at 10 pm the previous night. The district administration is on an alert, according to Bhadradri Kothagudem district collector Anudeep Durishetty.
There has been no rain in the region for the past two days. It was around the same time last month that the river breached the danger level and surged past 70 feet, submerging villages and colonies on either side of the river. As many as 35,000 people were evacuated from the low-lying areas and moved to relief camps.
గోదావరి వరద క్రమేపి పెరుగుతున్న నేపథ్యంలో పరివాహక మండలాల్లోని ముంపు గ్రామాల యందు ప్రజలను సురక్షిత ప్రాంతాలకు తరలించడం, NDRF బృందాలు,ట్రాక్టర్లు, వైద్య సామాగ్రి మరియు పునరావవాస కేంద్రాల సంసిద్ధత తదితర అంశాలపై రెవెన్యూ, పోలీస్,వైద్య, విద్యుత్, పంచాయతీరాజ్ మరియు (1/2) pic.twitter.com/InBn9u4Ras
— Collector Bhadradri Kothagudem (@Collector_BDD) August 10, 2022
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Collector Durishetty said that the water level is expected to reach 53 feet by Thursday evening and then stabilise and subside if the rain stays away in the upper catchment areas of the river. “The water level is rising entirely because of the incessant rain in the past two days in the upstream areas. We should be able to see them through by Thursday evening,” he said.
“Two villages in Cherla, two in Dummagudem and one colony in Bhadrachalam, all on the left bank, are vulnerable to flooding if water level reaches 55 feet. On the right bank, there is not much risk at up to 60 feet. As a precaution, we are ready to evacuate 700 to 800 people (200 families) after the water level breaches 55 feet,” the district collector said. Two National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams are on standby, apart from a team of swimmers and country boats at the Mandal level. The administration has already opened relief camps and cautioned and prepared the people for evacuation at any moment. “There is no need for panic. It is only caution,” he said.
Rivers Pranahitha and Indravathi have been in a spate. While the water level at Medigadda, where river Pranahitha joins the Godavari, is rising at a very slow pace, the Indravathi which flows from Chattisgarh has stabilised, according to the officer. “As of Wednesday, the water levels are rising only at 0.10 feet per hour, unlike last month when water was rising at 1 foot per hour,” he said and added that there was no warning for heavy rainfall in Chattisgarh unlike Monday and Tuesday when it rained heavily there.
Regarding the recovery from the deluge last month, Durishetty said power connectivity was restored in two days and drinking water supply in three days, while sanitation of the entire flood-affected areas was completed in four days. “Having 35,000 people in relief camps for almost two weeks was a recipe for an outbreak of seasonal diseases. We are proud that we could manage the situation very well without any reason for complaints,” he said.
Following the Godavari floods last month, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced a package of Rs 1000 crore to solve the problem of flooding in the state.