The Pulichintala Project was completely inundated along with some villages in Guntur and Nalgonda districts on Tuesday following release of 2.92 lakh cusecs of flood waters from Nagarjunasagar dam into the Krishna.
High drama was witnessed in the early hours at the Pulichintala (K.L. Rao Sagar) project site as two photographers, hired by the project contractors to shoot the water levels at the project site, got trapped in floodwaters. They were rescued by the project staff with the help of a boat and a rope available with them on site.
In Guntur district 1,500 families were evacuated in Bollapalli mandal, but flood situation eased towards evening with outflow from the Nagarjunasagar getting reduced. At Prakasam barrage, the outflow was 1.86 lakh cusecs with all the 70 weirs lifted more than one foot. District officials made all preparations for evacuation if the outflow from the Prakasam barrage reached 3 lakh cusecs. Till Tuesday evening, none was evacuated, Krishna district Joint Collector Gaurav Uppal said. There was no danger foreseen in colonies along the river in Vijayawada.
Water was flowing at 41.20 metres from the bed level covering the crest of the dam that is only 36.34 metres, Technical Assistant Durga Rao, who was at the dam site told The Hindu.
The lens men went on to elevated spots on the dam using a temporary bund. Meanwhile, there was a sudden increase in the flood and the temporary bund got washed away leaving them stranded.
Pulichintala Project Superintendent Engineer M. Krishna Rao said that that there was no danger to the dam by the flood. He said that he had visited villages in Nalgonda district to see if any of the villages were inundated. Water had reached to the outskirts of Vellatur, Chintriyala and Reballe, but had not entered habitation. Water was unlikely to enter the villages because the discharge at Nagarjunasagar had been reduced. The dam site received 3.3 lakh cusecs at the peak of the flood on Tuesday, Mr. Rao said.
The situation in the two villages in Bollapalli mandal turned serious this morning as backwaters from Pillutla vagu marooned the villages. Some villages in Dachepalli mandal also faced threat as water entered fields.
Waters flowed on the low-level causeways causing some anxiety. Revenue and irrigation officials shifted about 1,500 families to a nearby hill-top. The families were expected to reach their homes by evening.
Meanwhile, the inflows into Nagarjunasagar, which peaked to 3.79 lakh cusecs in the morning, were expected to recede to 2.66 lakh cusecs by evening and all the 26 crest gates would be lowered to five feet from the present six feet. The outflow was measured at 2.44 lakh cusecs. The existing water level at Nagarjunasagar stood at 584.10 feet against the Full Reservoir level (FRL) of 590 feet.
The Corporation is geared up to meet any eventuality and made arrangements to open 20 rehabilitation centres in the city.