A gush of over 80,000 cusecs of water left more than 100 lorries, meant for sand transportation, stuck inside river Krishna at Chevitikallu in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday. Police, Revenue and Fire Services personnel reached the spot and rescued about 120 stranded truck drivers and cleaners and shifted them to safety in boats.
Over 75,000 cusecs of water came from upstream Dr K L Rao Sagar Project at Pulichintala while another 5,000 cusecs came from Munneru rivulet due to heavy rain in the catchment, revenue officials said. Sand excavation was being carried out at a reach inside the river and the trucks were meant to carry it out.
There had been no warning whatsoever about the impending flood flow and so we went about our work. But we could not return because of the water surge and our vehicles got stuck, some truck drivers said. Revenue officials said they too had no prior information about the flood flow.
As the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir upstream Pulichintala got filled to the brim, water was being discharged downstream. Since a crest gate got damaged at Pulichintala last week, there was no way to impound it there and hence the discharge, the local tehsildar said. Unless water is let out downstream from the Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada, the flow at Chevitikallu can't be curtailed.
We have safely evacuated the stranded drivers and cleaners. The vehicles can be brought out only after the water level recedes, Nandigama sub-divisional police officer Nageswara Reddy said. The process might be completed only on Sunday, officials said.