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Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday, July 17 cited he has “gloomy” information that there may be a suspected “foreign hand” behind the cloudbursts in some parts of the country, including the Godavari river basin which is in spate in the state.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the flood-hit Bhadrachalam town in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, Rao announced allocation of Rs 1,000 crore as a rehabilitation package for the temple town to build colonies in highlands for a permanent solution from flood threat.
“A new method called cloudburst has come. They say there are conspiracies around it. We don’t know how far it is true. Some foreign countries are deliberately doing cloudbursts in our country. Earlier, they did it in Leh (Ladakh). Later, they did it in Uttarakhand. We have received ‘gloomy, gloomy’ information that they are doing in Godavari basin also. Whatever it is due to changes in climate these kinds of calamities occur. So, we need to safeguard our people,” said Rao, popularly known as KCR.
The current situation reflects the effects of incessant rainfall. As per the meteorological department and some private forecasters, this (heavy rains) situation may continue till July 29. So, the danger is not over yet, Rao said, after reviewing the flood relief measures with officials.
He directed the officials to not send back people from relief camps, adding “we have to take care of them”.
Reacting to KCR’s comments on the cloudbursts, Telangana BJP president and Karimnagar MP, Bandi Sanjay Kumar, described it as the “joke of the century.”
Sanjay said in order to cover his “failures,” KCR was enacting dramas. The Telangana BJP chief further alleged that KCR is trying to divert people’s attention from “submergence” of Kaleshwaram project and talked about a foreign conspiracy theory.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and party MP, A. Revanth Reddy, demanded that if KCR has information about the “foreign hand” behind the cloudburst then he should hand over the information to the Intelligence Bureau, RAW and also Central government and this is the Chief Minister’s responsibility.
Rao, after visiting the rain and flood-hit areas and relief camps, also announced Rs 10,000 immediate relief to each flood-affected family and 20 kg rice free for each family for the next two months. “That way we can help them a bit and we will do it,” Rao said.
Rao announced Rs 1,000 crore to permanently solve problems of low-lying areas (due to flood) abutting the Godavari river in Bhadrachalam. In this regard, residential colonies will be constructed, embankment covering the entire Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadrachalam would be developed and the embankment towards Burgampadu will also be strengthened to prevent inundation in future.
Later, the chief minister undertook an aerial survey at Eturu Nagaram region in Mulugu district and also reviewed flood-relief measures there.
Heavy rains and inflows led to massive rise in water levels in Godavari river, though it started declining on Saturday, July 16, at Bhadrachalam town. Such massive water levels and flooding was last witnessed in 1986, some residents recalled. The state government has shifted several thousand people to relief camps in view of the flooding in the district.
Some of the flood-hit people held a protest at Bhadrachalam on Saturday, demanding that the bund at the river be extended to prevent flooding of their residential localities.
Heavy rains lashed Telangana for about seven days, up to Friday last, causing inundation of low-lying areas across the state and damage to agriculture crops and others. More than 10 people died in various rain-related incidents at different places like collapse of walls and electrocution by Wednesday last.