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Rain stops but leaves a trail of destruction

Staff Reporter
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The sun came out on Monday bringing some relief to the rain-hit people of Srikakulam. —Photo: Basheer
The sun came out on Monday bringing some relief to the rain-hit people of Srikakulam. —Photo: Basheer

After a gap of one week, people of Srikakulam district could see the Sun and clear sky on Monday. Rains during the past one week saw many of them going without food and clean drinking water.

Official teams could not reach many areas as there was no access to villages and flood water flowing over the Chennai-Kolkata national highway.

Continuous downpour since October 21 had devastated the lives of thousands of people. It was a big blow for farmers as their entire crop was washed away in the floods and there was nothing left for review by official teams in three lakh acres.

Many houses have collapsed. Roads need to be repaired in over half of the villages in 38 mandals. Sources say Rs.1,000 crore is not sufficient for repairs of roads and economic activity will be affected if roads are not repaired. Owners of shops and establishments have lost business worth crores of rupees. They were already in trouble with the huge losses as they were forced to shut their business activity for many days during Samaikyandhra movement.

Daily wage earners and petty shop owners lost livelihood with the no chance for productivity for a few more days. People are put to hardship with vegetable prices shooting up due to floods and cyclones. A kilo of tomato is being sold at Rs.60, onion at Rs.70 a kg and all other vegetables above Rs.50 a kg.

“In my life time, I have not experienced such heavy rain and floods. With the God’s grace, we saw sunlight today. People can lead normal life in Srikakulam only when the official machinery clears roads of flood water,” says M. Kameswara Rao, a resident of APHB Colony.

Local people sought stern action against builders and municipal authorities who allowed unauthorised constructions in many localities and disrupting the drainage system in the town. A retired lecturer, K. Bangarraju, said: “We didn’t learn any lessons from the last year’s experience. Now the situation is worse as roads have turned into rivers.”

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