Andhra Pradesh

Chief Minister orders enquiry into encroachments in flood-hit Nellore

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The second day of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s visit to flood-hit areas in Nellore on Saturday witnessed residents pouring out their woes even as an enquiry ordered into encroachment of major drains and other causes of waterlogging left traders a worried lot.

When Mr. Naidu expressed his disappointment at the scale of damage wrought in flood-hit areas, officials brought to his notice the illegal constructions and encroachments that have cropped up along the 15 or so drains running through the city.

At one point of time, Mr. Naidu is stated to have expressed his displeasure and asked minister for municipal administration P. Narayana and collector M. Janaki as to why preventive measures could not be taken and how residents were allowed to suffer because of such unprecedented waterlogging in colonies and arterial roads.

The Chief Minister was told about the largescale encroachment of bunds and even the beds of the main drains like the one running through the centre of the city at the Old Madras bus stand and Achary Street.

As a consequence of this, an enquiry has been launched into the illegal structures. Several hotels, apartment complexes, commercial complexes and shops are stated to have come up along the drain at the Old Madras bus stand. Nearly 20-50 feet of the drain has been encroached up to the Mini Bypass Road.

There are suggestions that these encroachments be removed but property owners are said to have already started lobbying political representatives against it.

Later, Mr. Naidu inspected the relief operations undertaken in different flood-hit localities.

He visited the Pottempadu, Brahmadevam and Sarvepalli reservoirs where residents said their fields and houses were inundated due to unexpected breaches to canals and tanks.

Mr. Naidu was accompanied by ministers P. Narayana, Sidda Raghava Rao, MLC Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, collector M. Janaki and others.

Mr. Naidu expressed his surprise about the extent of damage, saying such a downpour had not occurred in these parts for more than 50 years. At Pottempadu, Mr. Naidu interacted with local farmers and women who narrated their misery and promised stepped-up relief operations in the coming days.

Speaking to the media at the Sarvepalli reservoir, Mr. Naidu said a fault in design was the reason for the breaches to National Highway 5 at Manubolu. The highway would be fully repaired in the next three days.

Mr. Naidu wondered as to how the structures being built now were proving weak against nature’s fury while those built in British times stand strong and sturdy. There was a need to improve engineering and design, he added.

He ordered an enquiry into the modernization works carried out under the Sarvepalli ayacut as complaints poured in that substandard works led to breaches at many points.

Mr. Naidu held a review meeting with ministers and officials on the progress of relief operations. He said advanced preventive measures would have to be taken to minimize the damage.

The chief minister wanted such effective measures in the coming few days such as those taken after cyclone Hudhud hit Visakhapatnam in 2014.



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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 4:02:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/chief-minister-orders-enquiry-into-encroachments-in-floodhit-nellore/article7905107.ece

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