Andhra Pradesh floods: The dam that became the sorrow of thousands of villagers


Image source: PTI

Kadapa: A view of the flood-affected area in the Kadapa area of ​​Andhra Pradesh.

The Annamayya project on the Cheyyeru River has proven to be the grief of many villages in the Rajampet Assembly constituency in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh. Togurupeta, Mandapalli, Pulapatur and Gundlur presented a picture of haunted villages after the destruction.

A flash flood caused by the burst of an earthen embankment left at least 18 people in a watery grave, and many others went missing in these villages.

A sudden flood of nearly 2,000 cubic meters of flood water on Friday, reaching 10 feet in height, took residents by surprise and rushed to save their lives. Dozens of houses in these downstream villages have been reduced to rubble. The villagers lost literally everything except their clothes.

Agricultural crops on hundreds of acres were destroyed. Dozens of heads of cattle were washed away. None of the household items were left as they were swallowed up by the flood.

“Everything happened in the blink of an eye. There was no warning of impending disaster, and we were left to face the rage. Now our life is completely destroyed, ”said the sobbing residents of Togurupet and Mandapalli.

In Pulapatur village, flooding washed away 12 people in Cheyeru, nine in Mandapalli and five in Gundlur. At the moment, only 18 bodies have been found, and no trace remains of the rest.

Annamayya is a medium-sized irrigation project with a gross capacity of just 2.24 trillion cubic meters. Ft on Cheyeru, a tributary of the Penna River, in Rajampet County. It serves a 22,500-acre Ayakut and also supplies the drinking water needs of 140 homes.

The Pinch project upstream erupted, releasing all flood water into Annamayu, while water from Seshachalam also gushed out due to very heavy rains, resulting in a total discharge of more than two thousand cups.

This led to the overflow of the Cheyeru River, flooding at least 10 villages downstream in the Mandalas of Rajampet and Nandaluru, leaving widespread destruction in its wake.

“It was nothing more than gross mismanagement on the part of the administration. Didn’t they know about the flood when it rained so hard? Why weren’t we even warned of the impending danger before it destroyed us? ”- angry residents of Mandapalli and Togurupet were interviewed. Except for some kind-hearted volunteers, the administration did not come to their aid in anything, they lamented.

“Our village is the first one within the Annamayya project. We lost our homes, livestock, things … everything. Some of our residents have died. We have nowhere to go, ”said survivors of Togurupeta, a village of about 500.

The temple of the local goddess, which for some reason remained untouched, has now turned into the only refuge area for the hapless villagers. Mandapalli presented a heartbreaking sight. Two families were completely wiped out as seven people died in the rage of the flood. Another family lost two people. Collector of the Kadapa area Vijaya Rama Raju told PTI that the dam break was the main factor causing such a major disaster.

“The course of the river changed, but the real destruction was caused by the break of the dam. We have still moved about 600 people to safety, ”he said. “Yes, it was a serious disaster, the scale of which was unimaginable,” added Raju.

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