Andhra Pradesh

Boats to the rescue of villagers as Kolleru Lake brimming

A resident of Komati Lanka crossing the Kolleru Lake in a small boat to reach the village.

A resident of Komati Lanka crossing the Kolleru Lake in a small boat to reach the village.   | Photo Credit: V RAJU

With the Kolleru lake reaching its brim at Atapaka Bird Sanctuary, communication to some island villages has been cut off and residents are crossing the lake through boats.

As the lake is filled due to good monsoon, pelicans, painted storks, stilts and other winged visitors, which breed and brood at Kolleru, returned to the lake. However, the Forest Department authorities closed the sanctuary for the public due to COVID-19.

Communication to Komati Lanka village, located in West Godavari district, has been completely cut off and the villagers are using boats to reach the island village.

“Kolleru was overflowing for the last few days due to heavy rains that lashed the upstream areas, and road link to Komati Lanka from Atapaka has been snapped. We have been depending on small boats since a month,” said G. Ratnakar Rao of Komati Lanka.

“More than 400 families are residing in Komati Lanka village. We are forced to travel on boats in emergency. During night, it is difficult to cross the lake,” Mr. Rao said.

Another woman, Kumari, said the village was connected by road to Kolleti Kota, Vadlakadi Tippa, Pedda Kottada, Pandillapalli Gudem, Alapadu and other villages situated around Kolleru in Krishna district. But, some island villages do not have roads, she said.

‘Roads can’t be laid’

However, officials said it was not possible to lay road to Komati Lanka village through the lake violating the rules. “We foiled the attempts of the residents to lay a road connecting Atapaka and Komati Lanka a couple of times,” a Forest official said.

Meanwhile, boat operators, who used to take tourists for a ride in the lake, are now ferrying the residents to the island villages.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 6:32:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/boats-to-the-rescue-of-villagers-as-kolleru-lake-brimming/article32280607.ece

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