Several low-lying localities, and even some posh colonies water-logged
The incessant rain for the last three days and a record 15 cm precipitation in 24 hours on Friday-Saturday intervening night led to inundation of several low-lying localities and some of the posh colonies in the heart of the city coming under a sheet of two-feet of water.
The Budameru, which is overflowing, discharging 8,000 cusecs into the Krishna river also impacted normal life in the city on Saturday. Worst-affected colonies were Housing Board Colony, Labour Colony, Urmila Subba Rao Nagar, NSC Bose Nagar and Old Rajarajeswaripeta etc. However, no casualties were reported.
The stagnated water was being siphoned out using motorised pumps. The Irrigation authorities discharged 49,000 cusecs of water from Prakasam Barrage in the early hours of Saturday. It, however, came down to 25,000 cusecs by 9 a.m. The localities downstream of Prakasam Barrage and One Town area, however, were safe.
The city received 15 cm rainfall, which is 15 per cent of the annual rainfall. Mylavaram, the catchment area for Budameru, received 20.3 cm and is 20 per cent of its annual rainfall. The poor maintenance of drains (outfall drains) by Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, got exposed with poor discharge of rainwater into Budameru or Krishna. All the major outfall drains could not discharge to their designed capacities as they were filled with silt and debris.
Municipal Commissioner K. Bhaskar said that the overflowing Budameru prevented the emptying of water from small and minor drains flowing from the city. The Municipal Corporation pressed into service earthmovers to clear the debris and de-silt drains on a war-footing, he said, and urged the people living in the low-lying areas to move to safer places.
Meanwhile, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) opened a 24-hour control room at Gulzar Meeting Hall. The people could contact (0866) 2425114 in case of emergency.
K. Venkateswara Rao, a 4th class student of Konda Venkatappaiah Colony was swept away in Peekalavagu here. He fell into the drain while playing on its edge. His body was recovered at Lanchester road and sent to the GGH for post-mortem. Two other children were rescued at the same place.