Palar surge hits life in Ambur-Gudiyatham belt

Many residents have moved to temporary relief camps

A sudden surge in the level in the Palar since Friday morning has disrupted life in Tirupatur, Vellore and Ranipet districts. Many residents have moved to temporary relief camps.

“Heavy rain, especially in the hilly areas, has pushed up the level in the Palar. So far, 4,068 persons have been accommodated in 25 relief camps in Ambur alone,” said S. Anatha Krishnan, Tasildar, Ambur taluk.

Officials said continuous rain in the catchments, including Tirupattur town, Natrampalli, Kandeli and Vanniyambadi and in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, pushed the level up in the river and in minor irrigation tanks and lakes. These districts have 4,167 waterbodies. Among them are 1,119 minor irrigation tanks maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD). The rest come under the Rural Development Department. Nearly 50% of them have reached their capacity.

Tiruvannmalai has 1,886 waterbodies, including 600 irrigation tanks under the PWD, followed by Ranipet with 1,718 waterbodies (369 irrigation tanks under the PWD).

PWD officials said inundation in many areas along the river was mainly due to the discharge of 1, 04,054 cusecs from the Poonai and Palar anaicuts on Friday. The discharge is mainly due to heavy rain and the release of excess rainwater from the Kalavagunta dam in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. As a result, many low-level areas along the river such as Madhanur, Ambur, Vanniyambadi, Kandeli, Gudiyatham, Pallikonda, Katpadi, Walajah, Arcot and Nemili were affected.

More than 25 villages, mainly in the Gudiyatham taluk in Vellore, were cut off from Ambur in Tirupattur after the bridge at Madhanur collapsed on Saturday. Some of the affected villages included Agraharam, Alinjikuppam, Ananganallore, Pernampattu, Perumbadi, Pichanur, Pogalur, Puttavaripalli, Rangampettai, Sarangal, Reddimankuppam, Gopampatti, Pattuvampatti, Athrampatti, Kempasamudiram and Machupattu.

Residents of these villages used the 1,000-metre-long bridge to reach Madhanur village, off the Bengaluru Highway, in Ambur. Now, they have to take a detour of 30 km, through Gudiyatham and Pallikonda, to reach Madhanur. The Palar water inundated many houses at Ambedkar Nagar in Ambur.

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