GUNTUR: The iconic Prakasam Barrage, currently making headlines for its abysmally low water level, and Seethanagaram in the new capital of Amaravati are gaining notoriety also for an entirely different reason: they have become suicide zones, with the regular registration of cases of people jumping to their deaths into the Krishna river. Nearly 200 people, mostly lovers and students, committed suicide by jumping into the Krishna in the past two years.
Quite ironically, the Krishna Barrage was given the name Prakasam, in memory of great freedom fighter and first CM of AP, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu. Its august history seems to be getting drowned out by its newer appellation of being a safe suicide spot.
Prakasam Barrage, Undavalli sand reach, Kondaveeti Vagu, Buck-ingham canal, Maha-nadu, Seethanagaram and Kanakadurga Varadhi have been the spots where people in a dep-ressed state usually take their own lives. Water, however, has not been available at Varadhi, Kondaveeti Vagu and Mahanadu, and the suicide-prone have been choosing Prakasam Barrage where water is available round the year.
K. Devaraj and other residents of Seethanagaram said that the police department had started a police outpost at the end of Prakasam Barrage and installed CCTV cameras on it, but there was no surveillance on the Seethanagaram Karakatta.
Cop saves lives of 23 people
A policeman working in the outpost at Prakasam Barrage saved 23 people from suicide attempt with the help of CCTV cameras surveillance.
The distressed individuals rush to Prakasam Barrage on the Seethanagaram end to commit suicide by jumping into Krishna River which turned the barrage into a suicide point. Police constable B. Nageswara Rao, observing the movements on the barrage, had stopped 23 people from committing suicides.
Mr Nageswara Rao said that the 1 to 15 gates of the barrage became suicide spots. Hence, they are monitoring through CCTV cameras. He lamented that silly reasons like disputes, anguish and distress are causes behind the suicides.
He said that a student, D. Chandrasekhar studying Class IX in Vijayawada tried to jump into the Krishna river due to sorrow of stealing Rs. 200 from his home. He recalled that when he first saw the student wandering at the gate number 6, he immediately ran but he jumped into the river.
Hence he also went to the gate through inner gates of the barrage and saved the boy with the help of fishermen. He said that he continuously observes people by following them....