The people witnessed the worst flood situation, rarely in the recent history of the arid Rayalaseema region, in 2009 when the Srisailam dam discharged close to 25.4 lakh cusecs exceeding its designed capacity of 13.6 lakh cusecs. This happens only once in 100 years, while some other irrigation officials opined such an inflow was witnessed only after 500 years.
While this is the most significant in the flood history of Rayalaseema, River Kundu, a tributary of the Penna river leaves many a farmer heartbroken in Kurnool district during the floods for over 20 days during a year. The third-most important lifeline of the region, it originates as a spring near Uppalapadu in Orvakal mandal, merges with the Penna at Adinimmayapalli village in Kadapa district. During the 2009 floods, entire Nandyal town was cut off for five days and many of the low-lying areas around the town getting inundated every year has become a routine.
The submergence of standing crop has been bothering farmers as they face losses due to floods as there is no infrastructure to hold floodwater from running into the Somasila. Executive Engineer of K.C. Canal Chirutani Pratap tells The Hindu that the State government had sanctioned a ₹15-crore project to increase the carrying capacity of the Kundu river from the current 11,500 cusecs to 35,000 cusecs to overcome the flooding issue. The tendering process is on.
The deluge in Kurnool town is man-made as many people have occupied the riverbed of Hundri that drains into Tungabhadra. Political opportunism makes it easy for people to occupy the lands along the river and inside also as water hardly flows for 15 to 20 days in a year.