PALANPUR: As many as 25,000 people were shifted, mostly in Banaskantha, as the district faced its worst floods in recent years on Monday. Around 1,000 people stranded in floods+ were rescued from various villages with the help of Army, Air Force, Border Security Force and National Disaster Response Force that were rushed to the district.
Around 10,300 people were shifted in Banaskantha district while 9,790 were taken to safer locations+ in Patan. Some 2,800 were shifted in Ahmedabad as a precautionary measure. The situation was particularly grim in Dhanera, Deesa and Tharad towns where rain waters flooded houses and drowned vehicles parked on the roads. Dhanera alone got 235 mm rainfall in just six hours. All gates of Dantiwada, Sukhbhadar and Sipu dams were opened after massive influx of water.
Heavy rains in adjoining Rajasthan worsened the situation in the region and water released from Dantiwada and Dharoi dams started inundating several villages in the region. With more heavy rains forecast, six additional teams of NDRF were called in from Pune to augment the efforts of 14 teams that are already deployed across the state. Two IAF helicopters were also pressed into service in Banaskantha to rescue stranded families. However, continuous rainfall and strong winds hampered the relief operations and one carrying food packets and other material to Dhanera had to return to Deesa.
Chief minister Vijay Rupani and revenue minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama also rushed to Deesa to oversee the rescue and relief operations+ . “The problem has been compounded by heavy rains in neighbouring Rajasthan, which led to surge in water levels of rivers and dams in Gujarat,” said Rupani.
In the evening, the training wall of Sipu dam in Banaskantha was damaged but irrigation department officials said there was no threat to the dam.
Also, 339 major and minor roads in Banaskantha, including one national highway, 20 state highways and 218 village roads are closed for traffic due to heavy flooding. Late in the evening, Palanpur-Abu highway was also closed for traffic. Huge quantity of grains were also damaged as flood waters gushed into the marketing yards.
ll schools and colleges in Banaskantha, Mehsana, Aravalli and Patan will remain closed on July 25 due to forecast of heavy rain. Also, the Ahmedabad-Rajkothighway was closed for traffic after flood waters started flowing on the lowlevel bridge near Bagodara. In Patan, rain waters flooded hundreds of houses in Santalpur taluka as several low-lying areas were in waist-deep waters.
In Mehsana town, most roads and internal lanes were in knee-deep water due to continuous rainfallAn SUV got submerged in the underpass but the driver managed to come out safely early in the morning. There was heavy waterlogging in several societies on Somnath Road and water entered into many shops in Hiranagar locality. In Mount Abu, incessant rains left electricity snapped in the hill station. Little respite is expected for people in noth Gujarat as authorities have issued a flood alert following release of more water from Dantiwada and Dharoi dams over the next 24 hours.
Principal Secretary, revenue, Pankaj Kumar said that due to heavy inflow from catchment areas, around 50,000 cusecs water was being released from Dharoi dam from Monday. He further said that over two lakh cusecs water was being released from Dantiwada dam because of huge influx from Rajastan, where situation in three districts is critical. Sixteen villages in Matar and 18 in Kheda have also been put on alert. “Villagers in the downstream (of both dams) are being evacuated as precautionary measure,” Kumar said on his Twitter handle. Sabarkantha district authorities said that around 25 villages in Mehsana are likely to be affected due to release of water from Dharoi dam over Sabarmati river. These include villages in Satlasana, Vadngar, Kheralu and Vijapur talukas.