Cracks on bunds around Rayala Cheruvu near Tirupati triggers flood fears

There was no fresh downpour in the region in the past two days, but the floods triggered by the heavy rain last week caused this

Tirupati: Tirupati and its neighbouring mandals got a brief respite from heavy rain in the last two days. The situation continued to be grim amid fear that Rayala Cheruvu, an age-old tank located 15 km south of the pilgrim city in Ramachandrapuram (RC Puram) mandal, might develop breaches.

There was no fresh downpour in the region in the past two days, but the floods triggered by the heavy rain last week caused breaches on highways and rural roads, cutting off several villages. These habitations remain inundated.

In RC Puram mandal, the Rayala Cheruvu area has been receiving inflows from various directions. The rising water levels have become a major concern after cracks developed on the bunds around the tank. This tank is the largest in the Rayalaseema region.

The tank started leaking late on Saturday and it triggered panic – that there could be a deluge in the surrounding low-lying villages.

Senior official PS Pradyumna, who is named a special officer to oversee the flood situation in the district, along with collector Harinarayana and Tirupati urban SP Venkata Naidu rushed to Rayala Cheruvu on Sunday morning and inspected the bunds and leakages were spotted at four different points.

Amid fear that this could trigger massive floods if the breach happens, the district administration vacated residents of 18 villages and of dozens of habitations abutting Rayala Cheruvu by Sunday evening.

Based on the advice of the irrigation department, steps to plug the leakages using cement and sand bags were taken at the spot with help from locals.

Special Officer Pradyumna said the Rayala Cheruvu tank has 0.9 tmc-ft of water now, well above its holding capacity. “After leakages were noticed and since there is a possibility of a breach, we asked residents of 18 surrounding villages and habitations to vacate the place and take shelter in the relief camps. NDRF and SDRF teams were roped in and put on standby for rescue operations, if needed," he stated.

District collector Harinarayana said the people from 18 odd villages were shifted to shelter homes at an engineering college at C. Ramapuram village by Sunday evening. Engineering officials said there was no problem with the tank’s leak. “However, as a precautionary measure, we have vacated people of 18 villages and irrigation officials are plugging the leakage.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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