Andhra Pradesh

Come rains, geddas, streams and waterfalls turn into death traps

Picnickers enjoying at the Chaprai waters at Araku in Visakhapatnam district.

Picnickers enjoying at the Chaprai waters at Araku in Visakhapatnam district.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Officials say youth are exploring waterfalls which are not safe

Last week, a 17-year-old Intermediate student T. Ravi Kiran drowned in Gurrai waterfalls in Kumbidisingi Panchayat under G. Madugula Police Station limits in Visakha Agency. The incident reportedly occurred when he along with his friends had gone to the waterfalls for a swim.

Similarly, a week earlier, 22-year old K. Harshavardhan from the West Godavari district, drowned in a waterfall at Golugonda mandal. Three youth, including Harshavardhan, were reportedly swept away as there was a sudden surge in the flow owing to heavy rain in the Agency. While two youth managed to return, Harshavardhan got trapped in the flow, the police said. Last month, a youth died in Sarayu waterfalls at Ananthagiri.

Not just waterfalls, it may be recalled a 14-year old girl E Rani, student of Tribal Welfare Girls Residential School, drowned in Chaparai water canal in Dumbriguda, a couple of month ago.

Officials say that youth have been exploring waterfalls which are not recognised by the Tourism Department. They are dangerous and lack basic safety measures. G. Madugula, Pedabayalu, Munchingputtu, Chintapalle, Ananthagiri and many other mandals have unexplored waterfalls without basic safety measures, and they turn to be more dangerous, especially during rains.

‘Accident-prone’

“Gurrai waterfalls is not a recognised one and it doesn’t have any safety measures. There is no proper road facility and it is located three to four km from road point. Students explore such waterfalls in the agency which are accident-prone,” said Sub-Inspector, G Madugula, Mr Rama Rao.A police officer from Araku region said that during rains, waterfalls and geddas come alive with sudden surge in the flow owing to the rain in the Agency. Youth try to enter water, where they are swept away.

“As many such waterfalls are located in interior areas, we do not find any habitations nearby and hence rescue operations get delayed in most of the cases,” said a police officer.

Instructions issued

Officials from ITDA have already instructed the schools not to leave any students outside, especially during rainy seasons, as they could go to waterfalls or geddas, which have been flowing steadily since the last one month.

“Not just schools, we have also informed the RDOs to create awareness to the locals not to venture outside, especially by crossing geddas during rains. Last month, a five-year old kid died while crossing gedda. But many tribals go to their agricultural fields, where such mishaps occur,” said Paderu Sub-Collector G. Venkateswar. According to the Sub-Collector, there are just three waterfalls recognised by the Tourism Department – Katika waterfalls at Ananthagiri, Kothapalle waterfalls in G Madugula and Chaparai at Dumbriguda. “In the three waterfalls, tourists are warned where not to swim/dive. Security measures are taken by the department concerned at these waterfalls,” he said, adding that more awareness need to be created.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 12:05:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/come-rains-geddas-streams-and-waterfalls-turn-into-death-traps/article29395563.ece

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