Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, October 15
As water recedes after torrential rains, Telangana has woken to the tragedy and disaster left behind by flooding.
The official figures suggest that the state lost 30 lives, including 18 in Greater Hyderabad. Similar reports of devastation have been received from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), who assessed the situation at a special meeting, said that the state had suffered losses to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore. This includes many lakh acres of cotton and paddy crops that have been damaged.
The state capital Hyderabad registered 19.2 cm rain, breaking a 117-year-old record of 11.7 cm rainfall.
After getting a first-hand account of the devastation, KCR has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to immediately release Rs 1,350 crore for rehabilitation and relief works. The PM had spoken to the Chief Minister and offered help.
Heavy rains and floods in the last three days have wreaked havoc in various parts of the state, especially Hyderabad. Vehicles were seen floating like boats, houses collapsed and roads and building submerged under as much as twelve feet water at many places.
A large portion of the historic Shahpur fort in Telangana’s Jangaon district also collapsed.
Three houses were damaged under the debris of the historic fort built in 1690 by Sardar Sarvai Papanna Goud, who along with nearly 4,000 men had attacked Warangal in 1708 after the death of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. However, no one was injured.
Though the state government is yet to release an official estimation of the extent of crop damage in Telangana, it is estimated to be several lakhs. The cotton crop has been completely ruined as it was almost ready for plucking.
The unprecedented rain is a result of a deep depression that has formed over the Bay of Bengal, affecting Andhra Pradesh and Telangana the most.
Life continues to be out of gear, even though the state had announced two days holiday on October 14 and 15.
Several areas in Hyderabad, including Somajiguda, Abids and Serilingampally, continued to suffer power outages for the third consecutive day as many electric poles have been uprooted and water logging has affected the substations.
Andhra Pradesh announced that the rains caused 11 deaths and initial estimates have put damage to agricultural and horticultural crops at around 55,169 hectares.