Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Flood relief ‘eludes’ Koyas in Eluru and ASR districts

A family in the Chintoor Agency area climbs atop a rooftop as its house is surrounded by floodwaters.

A family in the Chintoor Agency area climbs atop a rooftop as its house is surrounded by floodwaters.

Surrounded by the floodwaters, thousands of tribal families have been passing days without access to basic amenities and food on both sides of the Godavari river in Eluru and Alluri Sitarama Raju (ASR) districts.

The spread of viral fevers in their habitations is adding to their woes.

Thousands of people belonging to the Koya and Konda Reddi tribes, who were severely hit by the flash floods in the Godavari in July, are now homeless and surviving at the mercy of the river that may inundate their habitations anytime again.

‘Authorities clueless’

They alleged that the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (Chintoor and K.R. Puram) authorities are nowhere to be seen in the flood-hit areas.

When contacted, K.R. Puram ITDA Project Officer G. Sunil Kumar told The Hindu on Wednesday that he was not sure about the action plan on relief operations.

To a question on the evacuation exercise, he said, “Special officers have been appointed (for relief operations).”

In Eluru district’s Velerupadu mandal, a group of 30 Koyas of Toorpu Metta habitation had to venture into the floodwaters on two boats and travel for up to 10 km in search of aid.

‘No drinking water’

“Surrounded by the floodwaters, we do not have access to safe drinking water. We are forced to drink the floodwater. We have met the officials in the mandal headquarters, who promised to supply us essential commodities by Thursday. We are now at the mercy of the officials,” people of the Koya habitation, comprising 79 families, said.

In the Chintoor Agency area in Alluri Sitarama Raju district, many Koya habitations have been cut off for the past several days and are waiting for relief in V.R. Puram mandal.

People from Kotarigummam, Ippuri, Tommileru, Kondepudi, Jeeduguppa, who are supposed to be evacuated, are still tackling the flood on their own.

“We have not seen boats with relief material in our areas,” a Koya youth from V.R. Puram said.

Boat operators stay away

Sources in Chintoor said the government had not cleared the arrears due to the boat owners who offered their services during the floods in July. This is said to be the reason for non-availability of boats now.

More than 40 habitations remain cut off from the mainland as they are surrounded by the Godavari and the Sabari on two stretches — Chintoor-V.R. Puram and Chintoor-Odisha.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 9:26:47 pm |