KURNOOL: With just four days to go for the municipal elections, like the electorate in Kurnool, even their votes have become inconsequential as most of the ward councils have worked out to be unanimous.
When a cross-section of people were asked as to what they wanted fixed most by the new corporation, the responses ranged from construction of flood wall to protect the city from floods to driving away pigs and making roads motorable to supply of drinking water from clean sumps and pipelines.
Ananthaiah, a retired revenue official, said the 2009 floods that drowned the city and caused loss of lives and properties, is a dreaded memory. The city will be safe only with a flood wall but none of the political parties are speaking about it, he said.
Ram Pulla Reddy, an engineering consultant, said no one bothers about civic problems. Moreover, most wards are going unanimous. Ruling YSRCP with the support of revenue and police are leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory, he said. Some unconfirmed reports say that a top police official has helped the ruling party in getting several gram panchayats go unanimous, he said.
Flood safety wall, which was designed ten years ago, remains a non-starter. Officials from irrigation, KMC and revenue sent the safety wall proposals to the government in 2007. They wanted the wall to prevent flooding from the waters of Tungabhadra and Hundri rivers.
Every rainy season is a nightmare for residents of the town. Recalling such an experience ten years ago, many demanded a safety protection wall so that localities would not be submerged. Though an assurance was given to take up the project on a war-footing, it is yet to materialize.
The three rivers Krishna, Tungabhadra and Hundri received heavy inflows due to incessant rains in the catchment area that flooded Kurnool in 2009 October.
Srisailam Dam could not handle the heavy inflow from these three rivers as a result the backwater submerged the town. Srisailam Dam had its heaviest inflows, 2.5 million cusecs, since its construction in 1981.
According to a KMC official, the maximum flood level of 284 meter above sea level was reached on October 2, 2009. The city’s contour map identifies the banks of the Tungabhadra River at 271 meters, so the area between 271 and 284 meters contour lines has been marked inundated area and is divided into three categories of submergence like high, moderate and low.
As per these calculations, the officials have prepared a detailed report for the construction of a ‘flood safety wall’ at an estimated cost of Rs. 244 crore in 2009 (based on the proposals of the year 2007 floods, estimated at Rs. 150 crore), a source from the irrigation department said....