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Godavari districts on alert with increasing flood levels in the river


VIJAYAWADA: Flood level in the Godavari river at Polavaram cofferdam is steadily increasing with copious inflows from upstream following heavy rains in Maharashtra and Telangana region. On Saturday morning, a first-level warning was issued at Bhadrachalam in Telangana state, upstream of the Polavaram project with flood levels crossing 43 feet 

With their villages getting inundated in floodwater from the Godavari, people in villages of Devipatnam in East Godavari, Polavaram, Velerupadu, and Kukunoor mandals in West Godavari are being shifted to relief camps. The famous Gandi Pochamma temple in Devipatnam was submerged and only its Gopuram is now visible over water. 

According to water resources department officials, with the cofferdam of Polavaram constructed, the water is flowing reverse before flowing straight again, which is one reason for increasing flood levels at Devipatnam and other mandals located upstream of the Polavaram project. In fact, water is being let downstream through the spillway

According to Dowleswaram head works Executive Engineer, G Srinivasa Rao, the flood water discharged through Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage on Saturday morning was 3,26,085 cusecs and it is likely to increase further in next two days. At Polavaram cofferdam, flood levels crossed 30 meters and is likely to touch 33 meters by Sunday morning. 

In wake of increasing flood levels, a high alert has been sounded in 373 villages located along the River course in East Godavari district. According to Rampachodavaram sub collector Katta Simhachalam 32 villages were facing submergence threat from flood water and measures are being taken to shift the displaced persons to shelter centers. Chintur ITDA Project Officer Venkata Ramana said  there are 233 villages in 4 mandals Kunavaram, VR Puram,Chintur, and Yetapaka mandals are facing flood threat.

Eight villages 15 mandals of Amalapuram revenue division,  six villages in two mandals of Ramachandrapuram revenue division and four villages of four mandals in Rajamahendravaram revenue division or flood porn. 

As many as 137 rehabilitation centers have been set up in the district. Around 650 boats, mechanized boats, and launches were readied to shift the people to safe places.  NDRF and SDRF forces are on standby to tackle any eventuality.

Meanwhile, inflows to the Srisailam project in Kurnool and Prakasam barrage in Vijayawada continue to increase, with heavy rains in upper catchment areas of the Krishna river in Maharashtra and Karnataka.