Andhra Pradesh

When Penna brought misery

Sd. Rasheed, a resident of Bhagat Singh Colony, his wife and two children were having dinner as usual on the fateful Saturday (November 20) when flood waters started entering his house all of a sudden. They ran out of the house to safety as rainwater engulfed his house in no time in the wake of a record discharge of 5.50 lakh cusecs into the Penna river downstream from the Somasila reservoir.

When Mr. Rasheed and his family members returned home from the relief camp after floods receded they were shocked to find household articles and electrical appliances unfit for use. “Now I am clueless on running the family with floodwater taking away everything I had in my home,” he laments. About one lakh people in the district, including more than 23,000 living in the low-lying areas like Venkateswarapuram, Janardhan Reddy Colony and Jayalalitha Nagar in Nellore city, had a harrowing experience in the wake of record inflows into the Somasila reservoir.

Irrigation sources damaged

All the irrigation sources in the south coastal Andhra city bore the brunt of the flood fury and the people in the villages in Anatasagaram, Kaluvaya, Chejerla, Atmakur, Sangam, Podalakur, Buchireddipalem, Kovur, Vidavaluru and Indukurpeta riverine mandals lost their belongings due to the Penna flowing menacingly following heavy rains in the catchment areas in neighbouring YSR Kadapa district.

Putting the loss to the irrigation sources in the district due to the floods at ₹850 crore, sources say, “The department will require about ₹350 crore to repair the Penna delta system alone.”

The major reservoirs, including the river bunds, have suffered losses to the tune of ₹500 crore.

Allaying the fears of the people, Telugu Ganga Chief Engineer K. Harinarayana Reddy says the reservoir has been designed to handle a maximum inflow of 6.50 lakh cusecs. “There is no threat to its safety,” he tells The Hindu.

In case of the Kandaleru reservoir, which replenishes water to Chennai, Tirupati and other cities, temporary restoration work has been taken up by putting 4,500 sand bags to avoid any breach following loosening of sand in some parts. It has an all time high storage of 59.29 tmcft now, leaving a flood cushion of just 8 tmcft. The department has sought ₹30 lakh for permanent restoration works.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 4:14:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/when-penna-brought-misery/article37906023.ece

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