Demand for strengthening Godavari flood bank grows

A view of Bhadrachalam town abutting the Godavari.   | Photo Credit: Rao G N

With the monsoon season just around the corner, the demand for expansion of the existing flood bank (karakatta) along the banks of the Godavari in Bhadrachalam town to provide comprehensive flood protection to all low-lying areas in and around the temple town has gained momentum.

The renewed demand for fortifying the flood protection mechanism in the temple town stemmed from apprehensions raised in certain quarters over “possible” backwater effects of the Polavaram project under construction in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

There have been persistent demands from denizens of various low-lying areas of Bhadrachalam town for strengthening the flood bank to prevent recurring flooding of areas like Kotha Colony, and Subashnagar Colony around the river during the rainy season.

In August last year, the water level in the Godavari at the temple town almost equalled the previous high of 61.6 feet recorded in August, 2013.

In 1986, the water level in the Godavari peaked to its highest level of 75.6 feet at Bhadrachalam site, unleashing flood fury in the temple town more than three decades ago.

In February this year, local cadre of the CPI(M) conducted a padayatra in Bhadrachalam, the gateway to the vast tribal hinterlands, to highlight the issues facing Bhadrachalam including the possible backwater effects on the low-lying areas of the temple town and its surrounding areas.

Bhadrachalam MLA Podem Veeraiah on Thursday submitted a memorandum to Collector D Anudeep, who reviewed the flood management plan and monsoon preparedness in Bhadrachalam.

In his memorandum, the MLA said the temple town and various other parts of Bhadrachalam constituency were staring at the increased threat of flooding due to the reported closure of the gates of coffer dam of the Polavaram project in the adjoining State.

He said this would lead to potential backwater effects on Bhadrachalam and other tribal areas along the river course in the constituency, bordering Andhra Pradesh.

He urged the district authorities to deploy six launches at vantage points along the low-lying areas in the river’s floodplains to tackle flood and ensure proper maintenance of the sluice gates of the existing karakatta along the Godavari in Bhadrachalam to prevent seepage of floodwater during the ensuing rainy season.

The MLA underscored the need for expansion of the karakatta up to Kollugudemgutta on the the inter-State border with Andhra Pradesh to strengthen the flood protection mechanism.

The pre-monsoon maintenance works of the sluice gates of the flood bank (karakatta) have been expedited, sources in the Irrigation department said seeking to allay apprehensions over backwaters effect on Bhadrachalam, which is located about 95 km from the upcoming Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 9:42:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/demand-for-strengthening-godavari-flood-bank-grows/article34738960.ece

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