Officials step up efforts to remove boat stuck in Prakasam barrage gate

The operation to remove the boat stuck in the 68th gate of the Prakasam barrage was being continued by expert teams even after dusk with intensified efforts and more teams joining as of Saturday evening.

Following multiple failed attempts, officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) roped in salvage teams from other reservoirs in the State and Karnataka on Saturday. Men from Rajamahendravaram, Pulichintala, Bairavani Tippa and Ballari along with the State and National Disaster Response Force teams tried to pull out the metal boat using ropes and cranes. In the evening, a team from Polavaram joined the operation with additional equipment.

“The boat got stuck in a critical position in the gate. Any attempt to remove it without proper care will result in damage to the gate components,” said R. Satish Kumar, Chief Engineer, Krishna Delta System.

Water discharge

Meanwhile, a huge amount of water was being discharged into the sea resulting in ‘wastage’ as the gate couldn’t be closed. The remaining gates were closed three days ago after the flood receded gradually.

Earlier in the day, WRD Minister P. Anil Kumar, district Collector A. Md. Imtiaz visited the barrage and asked officials to ensure that the boat was removed at the earliest as water was going waste.

However, irrigation officials say that water discharge was inevitable as the inflow into the barrage, which reached the full reservoir level, was continuing. The outflow was 21,000 cusecs throughout Saturday and inflow 15,000 cusecs. The boat got stuck 10 days ago when the Krishna was in spate.

Man slips, drowns

An elderly man, M. Appanna, accidentally fell off the barrage while watching the salvage operation around the time when the Minister and Collector visited the site. He was found dead later in the downstream area, according to Krishnalanka police. Appanna belongs to Bavajipet area of the city. TDP MLC N. Lokesh blamed negligence of the government for the death of the man.

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