The surplus water from the Gundlakamma project at Mallavaram village was released bringing cheers to the farmers thanks to very good southwest monsoon rains.

The irrigation authorities lifted seven gates to let out into sea the entire inflow of 14,000 cusecs of water on Tuesday following heavy rains in the catchment areas.

The level has risen to 22 ft in the wake of intermittent rains, Project Deputy Engineer Shyamprasad said.

With no fresh rains on Tuesday, the authorities expected the water level to stabilise. The Rs. 453 crore project, one of the 26 fast-track projects taken up in the State government, has been completed in a record two years to impound 3.48 tmc ft of water and irrigate 80,000 acres, besides meeting the drinking water needs of 43 villages and also Ongole town.

Traffic suspended

Meanwhile, the authorities suspended vehicular traffic from here to Chirala via Madiralapadu as Gundlakamma river flooded the low-level causeway there in the wake of heavy rains in the catchment areas in the last few days.

People of the area have been demanding for long an over bridge. between Madiralapadu and Chedalawada to find a permanent solution to the problem of frequent flooding of the East Coast highway.

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