AP police mull forced eviction to move unwilling people

Last Updated: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 22:08

Vijayawada: With flood situation in this
Andhra Pradesh district looming large, the authorities here
are convincing people to move to the relief camps and mulling
to use force to evict the unwilling villagers.

The adamant villagers are refusing to move to safety
despite a surging water level in river Krishna even as water
discharge at Prakasam Barrage here crossed eight lakh cusecs
this evening, official sources said.

The water inflow is expected to rise to over 10.5 lakh
cusecs by midnight today as that much quantity of water has
already been released from the upstream Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.

This will by far be the heaviest flood in about a
century but villagers who live in tiny island habitations
along the river are reluctant to vacate their houses, they
said.

"It has becoming inevitable for us to use force and
evict the people as our prime concern is to ensure there is no
loss of human life," Vijayawada Police Commissioner K V
Rajendranath Reddy said.

In Vijayawada city alone, more than 1.40 lakh people
were affected by the flood but so far only about 50,000
people have moved to relief camps.

Authorities from Chevitikallu village upstream the
Prakasam Barrage in Krishna district, which is on the banks of
the river, said the villagers there were not heeding to their
advice to move to the relief camps.

"The situation becomes alarming with the water level
rising to record levels. We have little time left to move the
affected people to safety," a district official pointed out.

But the villagers refused to buzz claiming they will
tackle the situation on their own.

"We have seen many such floods in the past and nothing
will happen to us," one of the villagers in the area said.

In Thotlavalluru mandal downstream the Prakasam
Barrage, a similar situation prevailed as villagers refused to
move to relief camps.

"We are now trying to forcibly evict them from the
village as the flood threat is looming large in the area," the
local revenue officer said over phone.

A team of officials led by special officer (flood
relief operations) Rajiv Sharma, which went round areas
abutting the river bank in and around Vijayawada, asked people
to move to relief camps.

While some villagers complained that there was hardly
any space left in those camps even as the officials assured
them that adequate space has been created to accommodate all
the affected people. "There is no space for us at the camps,"
a group of women told the team at Padavalarevu.

"We have arranged food, milk, drinking water besides
medical teams to take care of all your needs. But please move
to the camps immediately so as to avert any tragedy," the
officials told the reluctant people.

Meanwhile, voluntary organisations have been roped in
to arrange food, drinking water and milk to people in relief
camps, officials said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Rosaiah has lauded all the
departments concerned for timely evacuating lakhs of people to
safer areas.

"The officials at the state-level and district-level did
a commendable job in the last three days in preventing huge
loss to human lives so far and ensuring their safety," he told
reporters in Hyderabad today.

The Chief Minister said the government would now focus on
reconstruction works, repairing of damaged roads and
restoration of power and communication facilities in the
flood-hit areas.

"There was an extensive damage to electrical
installations in Kurnool, Mahabubnagar and Krishna districts
and all these have to be repaired and power restored in all
areas," he said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 22:08

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