By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Though flood levels in River Krishna at Prakasam Barrage are receding, several low-lying areas downstream the barrage, especially those in Vijayawada continue to be inundated in the flood water.

As on Tuesday evening, inflows to the Prakasam Barrage stood at 3.5 lakh cusecs and outflows stood at 3.35 lakh cusecs. Since the flood water level is at 3.6 mm (12 ft) over the crest of the barrage, the first warning was withdrawn.

Despite the water levels receding, crops like plantain, turmeric, guava, sugarcane and paddy cultivated in thousands of acres on the banks of River Krishna were inundated incurring heavy losses to farmers.

At Chodavaram village in Penamaluru mandal, turmeric crops in hundreds of acres were inundated and farmers were seen wading through waist-deep water in their agriculture fields. 

Several residents of low-lying colonies in Vijayawada were seen cleaning their houses filled with slush of mud and assessing losses. Meanwhile, special teams have been constituted by the district administration to enumerate the crop loss and the same will be forwarded to the State government in coming days. 

Meanwhile, Minister for housing and Guntur district in-charge minister Ch Sri Ranganatha Raju said that over 2,400 hectares of crops were damaged due to overflowing of local streams.

He promised to submit a comprehensive report on streamlining of local streams to avoid damage of crops and inundation of fields and villages in future. 

Ranganatha Raju, along with Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharita and officials, visited the flood-affected areas in Guntur district on Tuesday. The low-lying areas of Pedamadhuru, Narukullapadu and other villages were marooned due to floods. 

The minister directed the officials to shift the people to safer locations. He observed that at several places, farmers expecting harvest in next two months, suffered crop damage due to floods. He said he will be submitting a report to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy shortly. 

The Guntur district administration has already shifted several people from low-lying areas along River Krishna. Once the flood levels in the river recede, people in the relief camps will be sent to their homes. 

Rs 5 lakh ex gratia for 8 flood victims

CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia each to the families of eight people who died in floods in the State.

He directed the collectors to extend the aid to the kin of the flood victims. He observed that floods in the State are receding and 10 districts received excess rainfall this season.

He asked the officials, especially collectors of Krishna, Guntur and Nellore to enumerate crop losses in an expeditious manner and display the data at Rythu Bharosa Kendras, so that the entire process of enumeration of crop loss and payment of compensation will be transparent

Heavy rains likely in north Coastal Andhra Pradesh

IMD forecasts thunderstorms along with lightning at isolated places across the State and heavy rainfall at isolated places in north Coastal and twin Godavari districts.

With likelihood of flash floods in local streams due to heavy rains, the disaster management department alerted people living in low-lying areas.

They were advised to move to relief centres at higher grounds in case water levels increase.

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