Special Correspondent

Maharashtra has released water from two dams

Water is likely to reach Gulbarga between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. todayFamilies in low-lying areas being evacuated19 relief centres to opened in taluks

GULBARGA: The Gulbarga district administration has sounded a flood alert in all villages on the banks of River Bhima in Gulbarga owing to release of 2.1 lakh cusecs of water from Ujjini and Veerbhatkal dams in Maharashtra on Saturday night.

Public announcements are being made in these villages asking families in low-lying areas to shift to safer areas.

The District Disaster Management Committee held an emergency meeting here on Sunday under the Chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Pankajkumar Pandey and Superintendent of Police Manish Karbikar.

Mr. Pandey said police personnel had already moved into villages on the banks of the river in Afsalpur, Gulbarga, Jewargi, Chitapur, Shahapur, Yadgir and Surpur taluks which are likely to be affected in floods.

He said Tahsildars of all these taluks would also send their teams to the vulnerable villages to evacuate families.

According to the latest information, while 1 lakh cusecs of water was released from Ujjini dam, another 1.1 lakh cusecs was released from Veerbhatkal dam in the downstream. The released water is likely to reach Gulbarga district between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday. Last year, after Maharashtra released water from both these dams, many villages were marooned and standing crops on thousands of hectares of land were submerged.

Mr. Pandey also announced that 19 relief centres would start functioning in all these taluks from Monday. Tahsildars and Revenue Department officials would ensure that all families living in vulnerable areas were shifted immediately to these camps. He said the camps would have enough stocks of foodgrains, pulses, fuelwood, kerosene, diesel, petromax lights, high beam torch lights and the bedding materials.

24-hour control room

A disaster management control room, which would operate round the clock, has been established in the Deputy Commissioner's office. Mr. Pandey directed the Irrigation Department officials to constantly monitor the water level of the river and send reports every two hours to the control room.

Six rafters purchased last year by the district administration for the relief operations would be used. Additional boats would be procured from Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada districts.

Location of camps

Following are the centres where the relief camps would be established for housing affected people: Hasargundigi, Mannur, DesaiKallur, and Karajgi in Afsalpur taluk, Basavapatna, Ferozaqbad, Hagaragundigi, Kaulga in Gulbarga taluk, Kudi Darga, Ankalga, Harwal and Mavoor in Jewargi, Kadabur in Chitapur taluk, Hunsagundigi, Ibrahimpur and Bendegumbli in Shahpur, Abbe Tumkur, Gudur, and Belagunda in Yadgir taluk.

Shifting inhabitants

Steps would be taken to shift inhabitants of two islets in Krishna river in Surpur taluk at Benchagatti and Neelakantarayakatti, which would also be affected owing to flooding in the Krishna, where the Bhima joins.