The controversial Pothireddypadu head regulator project which regulates flow of water from a dam and whose capacity was enhanced to 40,000 cusecs by late Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy despite strong opposition from all parties, has proved to be the sorrow of Nandyal town and many villages around in Kurnool district.
Nandyal, a town with a population of about two lakh, is not new to floods. River Kundu that flows along this town causes a deluge every other monsoon but never in the past has that been such a devastating flood as this year.
Kundu originates in the Orvakallu mandal of Kurnool district and traverses through constituencies like Nandyal, Aallagadda, Jammalamadugu, Mydukuru and Prodduturu and joins river Penna in neighbouring Kadapa district.
Kundu witnessed at least eight floods since 1994 but none of them caused any major destruction to properties except crops.
The Nandyal town never remains water-logged for more than 24 hours even during worst floods earlier. This time, however, it remained under a thick sheet of water for over six days, former minister N Md Farook, who hails from Nandyal, said.
Local Congress MP S P Y Reddy said the heavy discharge from the Pothireddypadu head regulator, where flood water from the Srisailam reservoir overflowed, has left Kundu flooded.
For many years, locals have been demanding that the government should take steps to check flooding of Kundu river.
In fact, a project to widen and deepen the river at Nandyal to prevent flooding of the town was sanctioned long ago and even the tenders for work worth Rs 75 crore were finalised.
There has been a problem because of some encroachments and litigation. We will soon sort out the problem and take up the work, the MP said.
Meanwhile, more than 2,500 families have taken shelter in relief camps put up by the district administration in various schools in the town, while more than 5,000 families went back to their houses.
As one steps into the town, one cannot avoid a thick layer of slush which built up because of the heavy flood.
Like in Kurnool town, the district headquarters, Nandyal too is stinking due to the mounds of filth that have piled up.
People have started rushing back home from relief camps to take stock of their belongings and begin the clean-up act as the flood water is receding in many colonies.
“I stayed in my relative’s house at Dhone (Dronachalam) for three days after the flood and returned only this afternoon with family. It will take at least a week or more for us to put the house back in order,” Venkata Reddy of Nadigadda area in the town said.
Some areas like Harijanawada, RTC bus station, Rani-Maharani Theatres junction and Saleem Nagar remain inundated.
The national highway connecting Nandyal and Guntur has been re-opened for traffic after remaining closed for more than five days.