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Odishatv Bureau

Torrential rain continued to pound Motu area of Malkangiri district, shattering a 36-year-old rainfall record as floodwaters continued to inundate several villages. Rivers Saberi and Sileru as flowing above the danger mark, reports said. 

Hundreds of trucks were stranded as floodwater flowed at a height of 10ft on the National Highway-326 (NH), disrupting vehicular movement between Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. Three villages of old Motu area are now left inundated.

Similarly, around 6 to 7 villages in Motu area also submerged in floodwaters. People are being shifted to safer places with the help of boats by the administration.Several parts of the district are reeling under floods after backwaters from river Godavari in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh inundated villages and farmlands. 

Locals attributed the flood like situation in Motu area to the reverse flow of water from Polavaram project.
Locals fear parts of Malkangiri might remain under water if the under construction Polavaram project is completed. Once the project is completed, Sileru and Saberi rivers will swell as Godavari water will not be released, reports added.

“Steps should be taken immediately to rehabilitate the residents from the flood affected areas before situation becomes serious,” locals said.

Meanwhile, narrating their ordeal, a local resident said, “More than 30-40 cows have been swept away in the floodwaters. Chicken are taking shelter on trees. The situation is so grim that the water level is increasing every two hours.”
“Many of us don’t have food, medicine, rice or anything. There are so many sugar patients among the truck drivers. We need immediate help,” lamented a truck driver.

“Backwaters from river Godavari in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh inundated villages and farmlands. Over 80 families have been affected and 16 houses have been submerged under the water,” Maheswar Nayak, additional district magistrate, Malkangiri.

Similarly, former engineer Ramesh Chandra Tripathy said, “The Polavaram project is underway. The gates are open because the project is yet to be completed. Even as the sluice gates are open, it has caused floods here. Imagine what will be the situation once the project is complete and the gates are closed. So, the government should take immediate steps to rehabilitate the people from Motu area.”

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