Cancellation of CM visit upsets the flood-hit
More details of the damage caused by heavy rains and the resultant floods that followed cyclone Nilam from November 3 to 5 are coming to light. And, there are still some areas that remained inaccessible or are yet to be visited by officials. One reason for the officials not being able to extend help is that there is no way they could reach the worst-affected villages.
Loss to farmers
Paddy in hundreds of acres was totally lost and the loss to each acre was Rs. 30,000, said farmers of Bennavolu, Polepalli, and Jennavaram villages located beyond P.S. Peta near Chodavaram.
Sugarcane was also affected and started rotting. Almost all huts were damaged or had collapsed, and even bullock carts were not spared. Casuarina trees and palm trees were uprooted as also electric poles at P.S. Peta, which all lay across the road. Power supply is expected to be restored in two days.
Breach to a gedda in the area after water from Konam reservoir was released, as it was reaching the danger mark, inundated fields and houses. P.S. Peta was also affected as water entered houses located in the low-lying areas of the village.
Chief Minster N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was scheduled to visit P.S. Peta and interact with the farmers on Tuesday, but delay in his schedule and fading light late in the afternoon resulted in cancellation of his programme.
People were upset that the Chief Minister did not visit the area. “We wanted to show him the damage and plead with him to provide help. But he did not come,” lamented Yedla Gangu Naidu.
The most pathetic story of the village is that of Munagapaka Aivuvathamma, a polio-afflicted woman. She lives with her mother in a hut. Roof of the hut half-collapsed under the impact of heavy rain and the flood water eroded the road in front of the hut, forcing Aivuvathamma to stay indoors. Even those living in pucca houses in these villages could not come out till Monday as there was water around the houses.
The SC colonies of P.S. Peta and Gouripatnam were inundated and neck-deep water receded only on Monday.
While this is the plight of these villages, there are villages such as Chengalapilli, Koilapili, Timmannapalem, Ramajogipalem, and Chogipalli, located still further inside, which remained cut off, and help was yet to reach the villagers.
Ch. Suryanarayana, who is active in village affairs, blamed the Irrigation Department for not taking up regular de-silting of the Konam reservoir. Silt got accumulated and the reservoir could not accommodate the flood water.
Even before relief work reached, differences cropped up among the villagers of P.S. Peta, the native village of former Minister and present Chairman of the DCCB Balireddy Satyarao.
People in only one part of the village were receiving rice being given to the victims and, even among them, a few eligible were left out, said some women. Some villagers blamed political differences for it.
Secretary of rytu sangham of the area M.N. Satyanarayana said the worst affected would be tenant farmers who would not be receiving help from the government as they were not having the certificate issued by the government confirming their tenancy status.
Only 20 out of the 500-odd tenant farmers were issued the certificates.