Friday, Aug 08, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
According to the Superintending Engineer, B.V.S. Prakasa Rao, the river was gradually in spate. The inflow at Dowleswaram Barrage which was recorded at 2.75 lakh cusecs on Wednesday evening had gone up to 4.2 lakh cusecs on Thursday morning and 5.2 lakh cusecs in the evening.
He told The Hindu that further rise in water level was expected and the inflows could be around 6-7 lakh cusecs by Friday. As a fallout, many bathing ghats here were partly inundated. However, he maintained that it would not pose any threat to the safety of the ghats or the pilgrims. The inflow was far lower than the first flood warning level at 10.3 lakh cusecs, Mr. Prakasa Rao added.
Meanwhile, the Joint Collector, Y.V. Anuradha, said the district administration had alerted the pilgrims on the rising flood level in the river and a strict vigil was ensured against use of unauthorised river bunds for bathing by the pilgrims.
Security at the ghats was beefed up. Boats with divers were put on alert at the ghats, the bathing area was downsized and the mesh meant to serve as a protective cover for the pilgrims while taking a holy bath in the river was strengthened, the Joint Collector explained.
The nature's vagaries that manifested in the form of heavy rain and the river being in spate seemed to have hardly dampened the pilgrims' enthusiasm, given the day's rush. The official figures indicated that 13.5 lakh devotees took part in the river festival in the district today which was the highest in the last seven days.
The TDP MLA, Dhulipala Narendra Kumar, performed rituals for his father and former minister, late Veeraiah Chowdary, in drenching rain here, along with the Guntur Zilla Parishad Chairperson, Paturi Nagabhushanam.
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