The efforts of the officials seem to be paying no dividends as the people were reluctant to move to rehabilitation shelters on Saturday. The officials positioned from Bhavanipuram to Ramalingeswara Nagar had a tough time in convincing them to move to safe places.

Though the officials could evacuate more than 65 per cent of the people, only nine per cent reported at the rehabilitation shelters. Rest of them were believed to have “gone to their relatives of friends houses.” The officials were supposed to evacuate 45,825 people by Friday night from Bhavanipuram to Ramalingeswara Nagar, including Krishnalanka, Ranigarithota, Ranadive Nagar, Bhupesh Gupta Nagar, Punnami hotel and so on. But, they could evacuate only 29,000 people. Of these, only 4,350 people reported at the rehabilitation centres. For instance, the officials reportedly evacuated all the 3,000 people from Bhupesh Gupta Nagar to Geeta Nagar Katta to 10 MGD plant. However, none of them reported at the shelters. The situation was no better at other vulnerable areas like Ranigarithota (Tarakarama Nagar) from Vaaradhi to the beginning of Bhupesh Gupta Nagar, Balaji Nagar, Bhavanipuram, Bhavanighat and so on. None of the evacuated people reported at the rehabilitation centres.

Security

Panchayati Raj Minister Botcha Satyanarayana visited some low lying areas and suggested to the people to move to safe places. He assured them that police bandobust would be provided to their localities. He directed the police to keep a vigil and provide bandobust in colonies and slums vacated by the people.

The officials pressed lorries, mini lorries, trucks, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles to shift the people to rehabilitation shelters. However, the people preferred staying in their homes fearing that their houses would be looted in their absence. The officials said that the transportation vehicles would be pressed into service till Sunday morning, and a decision would be taken whether to continue to use their services.

The officials suspected that most of the people, who were evacuated, would come back to their houses after having lunch or dinner to save their properties. But, they would continue to remain in the shelters only if their houses were marooned in flood waters and reaching there becomes humanly impossible.

The VMC opened 28 rehabilitation shelters to shift about 40,000 people from various localities abutting the river. Officials of the corporation, revenue and police were deputed to each shelter. Food, water and medical facilities were provided at the shelters. Corporation kept open its control room with phone No. 0866-2426103.

More In: Vijayawada