Telangana Rains: 2 Kaleshwaram pump houses submerged, Godavari rages on

The situation at the Kadem project normalised after the water receded on the day, but the situation in Bhadrachalam remained perilous

HYDERABAD: Two pump houses under the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project were submerged in floodwaters of the Godavari in Mahadevpur mandal of Bhupalpally district on Thursday, as heavy rains continued to lash the state for a seventh consecutive day on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the situation at the Kadem project in Nirmal district normalised after the water receded on the day, but the situation in Bhadrachalam remained perilous as the water level of the Godavari touched 62.2 feet, the highest since the formation of Telangana. The state received an average rainfall of 39.5 mm, against a normal of 6.7 mm, recording a deviation of around 490 per cent this monsoon. At the Kaleshwaram project, the Kannepalli (Lakshmi) pump house that houses 17 heavy-duty motors and Annaram pump house that houses seven heavy-duty motors that have a capacity to pump out 2 TMC of water per day were inundated. However, irrigation officials said that submersion of pump houses is a common occurrence and dismissed concerns over the incident.

The adviser to the government on lift irrigation projects, Penta Reddy, in a media statement, said that the Kaleshwaram project construction works are intact and only motors and electrical equipment were submerged. There will be no problem with the motors and they will be restored immediately after floods recede, he said. In Nirmal district, authorities heaved a sigh of relief over the situation at the Kadem project, as officials and residents spent a sleepless night over fears of a dam breach due to excessive floodwater load.

The floodwater inflow at the Kadem project halved on Thursday morning, from 5 lakh cusecs to 2.5 lakh cusecs, and further declined to 1.84 lakh cusecs in the evening. But, the situation at Bhadrachalam remained perilous, as 19.1 lakh cusecs of floodwater were being released into the Godavari as of 6 pm on Thursday.

The last time the level of Godavari crossed the 60-foot mark was in August 2020, when it hit 61.6 feet. So far, 19,071 people were shifted to 223 relief camps across the state, with the worst affected being Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Mulugu and Bhupalpally districts. As many as 6,318 persons were shifted to 43 relief camps in Bhadrachalam, 4,049 to 33 camps in Mulugu and 1,226 to 20 camps in Bhupalpally. As many as 16 persons had to be rescued by the NDRF, while two had to be airlifted by the Indian Air Force in Mancherial district.

Meanwhile, seven NDRF teams — three in Bhadradri-Kothagudem, two each in Mulugu and Bhupalpally — have been deployed for rescue and relief operations. Officials are also regularly monitoring the water overflows into different projects. So far, Khanapur mandal in Nirmal district has recorded the highest rainfall, of 29.48 cm, followed by very heavy rainfall of 11.56 mm to 20.44 mm in Adilabad, Asifabad, Nirmal, Mancherial, Nizamabad, Jagtial, Peddapalli, Karimnagar and Rajanna Sircilla districts. Between June 1 and July 14, the state recorded an average cumulative rain of 52.49 cm, against a normal of 22.66 cm, recording a deviation of 132 per cent.

On Thursday, chief secretary Somesh Kumar held a meeting with officials at BRKR Bhavan and took stock of the situation across the state. He emphasised operations in Mulugu, Bhupalpally and Bhadradri-Kothagudem districts due to the alarming rise in the water level of Godavari. Low-lying areas of the districts were identified and monitored on an hourly basis. The CS also held a teleconference with the collectors, SPs and other senior officials of Kothagudem, Mulugu, Bhupalpally and Peddapally districts. Kumar directed the officials to give utmost priority to preventing the loss of human lives.

The India meteorological department, meanwhile, predicted heavy to very heavy rains for the next couple of days in the state, following which officials said that the level of Godavari at Bhadrachalam may cross the 70-foot mark on Friday. The CS directed collectors to procure JCBs, generators, sandbags and other materials in additional quantities and place them at strategic points. DGP Mahender Reddy said that additional forces, along with equipment like boats, life jackets, etc, are being sent to the districts to cope with any eventuality

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