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Shoring up floodbanks only way out

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TEAM SPIRIT: People of Mummidivaram form a human chain to reach safer places on Tuesday. Photo: S. Rambabu
TEAM SPIRIT: People of Mummidivaram form a human chain to reach safer places on Tuesday. Photo: S. Rambabu

B.V.S. Bhaskar

It should at least be taken up in a phased manner, says expert

Rajahmundry: Breaches to floodbanks along the 534.86-km-long Godavari are causing a major loss to delta areas in both East and West Godavari districts almost every year.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy admitted during his visit on Monday that only 100 km of the floodbank was strengthened during Channa Reddy's regime.

He saw an urgent need to strengthen the remaining part with Rs. 3,000 crores.

First breach

According to irrigation experts who had served in Dhawaleswaram Head Works and also at other places along the river, the first breach was reported in August 1953 during which 26 lakh cusecs reached the Godavari.

TheGovernment then of that day increased the level of the floodbank and strengthened the same.

On August 15, 1986, the Godavari districts witnessed major calamity as a result of flooding of 30 lakh cusecs from upstream areas.

As a result, major breaches occurred to the Vasista at Nagullanka in Konaseema and also at the upper side of the Dhawaleswaram barrage (Akhanda Godavari).

Modernisation

Successive governments started thinking of modernisation of the Godavari delta areas with Rs. 1,300 crores to strengthen flood banks along the river.

Says P. Madana Gopal, retired engineering expert: "Lack of commitment and financial burden have led to this crisis.

Strengthening of floodbanks should be the top priority of any government and it should be done in, at least, a phased manner."

B.V. Prakasha Rao, a renowned engineer of the Godavari districts has recently stated that the estimates for strengthening the flood bank are going up every year and it will be Rs. 3,000 crores this time.

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