Mud bank kept the ravaging floods at bay

Discussion in 'General' started by satish, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Nov 6, 2015


    satish Administrator
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    May 6, 2015
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    Mud bank kept the ravaging floods at bay


    A narrow flood bank along the quiet flowing Krishna upstream of Prakasam Barrage built over 100 years ago continues to act as a bulwark against the recurrent and ravaging floods that have battered the region.

    The flood banks formed on both the left and right sides of the river built with mud and stone were first formed in 1892 and have been subsequently strengthened over the years. It was a quite an assiduous task of building the flood banks- totalling a length of 346.40 km in both the Krishna and the Guntur districts, with Krishna’s flood banks running to a distance of 230 km.

    As the new capital city of Amaravati rises on the banks of River Krishna, the flood banks would be again strengthened, possibly with the technological support from Singapore, but 100 years ago, it was the toil, sweat and tenacity of reformed men in settlement colony of Sitanagaram that gave shape to the flood banks. In a biographical account of Christian missionary, Commissioner Charles Mackenzie, an officer in The Salvation Army, “The Mud Bank- A Story of Missionary Endeavour,’’ Mildred Mackenzie, narrates an interesting episode which encapsulated the massive effort by the reformed criminals led by the Public Works Department of the then British Government in strengthening the flood banks. It was during the period between1913-1917, that the PWD department started the work of strengthening the flood banks. The Salvation Army volunteered to help by offering the services of reformed men of criminal tribes living in the Sitanagaram settlement. Commissioner Mackenzie records that an interesting episode on the intervening night of a massive flood on November 2, 1917.

    The Scottish engineer, who had been entrusted with the task of conserving the flood banks, was restless as a message flashed across that a massive flood was surging down the river. The officer mobilised men, material and riding horseback all through the night, ensured that the weak spots have been strengthened. Hundreds of men toiled throughout night carrying sand bags as they plugged the breaches. The flood came, a massive discharge of 9.55 lakh cusecs and the water flew over 10 feet on the mud bank, but as the night passed away, the men heaved a sigh of relief as there was no damage.

    Patna University V-C Yedla Simhadri, who in his seminal dissertation, “Ex-criminal tribes of India,” narrates the role of the missionaries in the reformation of criminal tribes. The ex criminal tribes have been reformed by providing them training, opportunities for alternative employment at settlement colonies in Sitanagaram, Staurtpuram, and at Kavali and Kalichedu settlements.

    Flood banks on Krishna river , built 100 years ago, have a ‘missionary,’ connection


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