GANDHINAGAR: The Army has been pressed into service in several areas to carry out relief and rescue operations as rain and floods have paralysed normal life in many parts of the Kutch-Saurashtra, and central and southern Gujarat regions. State authorities rushed two units of the National Disaster Response Force to Vallabhipur in Bhavnagar district and Nadiad to rescue people stranded in flood waters as rain continued to lash most parts of the Saurashtra and central Gujarat regions for the second consecutive day on Monday.
According to an official spokesman, at least 16 persons were feared killed in wall collapse and drowning incidents in Vadodara, Navsari, Anand and Junagadh, districts, taking the death toll to 63. More than 6,500 people were evacuated from low-level areas in Vadodara, Broach, Navsari, Junagadh, Bhavnagar and Amreli districts.
Through train services from Delhi to Mumbai via Vadodara were badly affected as the rail track was submerged between Broach and Kosamba; 10 trains including the August Kranti Rajdhani Express and Western Express have been cancelled, while many others have been diverted and are running behind schedule. The worst-affected is the rain-starved Saurashtra region, where almost alldistricts received heavy to very heavy rain accompanied by cyclonic storms during the last 48 hours, causing 30 medium sized dams to overflow. The spokesman said a high alert was issued for at least a dozen major dams which threatened to overflow if rain continued unabated in the next 48 hours.
Perhaps for the first time, the heavy rainfall in the upper catchments in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra caused the overflowing of the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada and the Ukai dam upstream of Surat so early in the monsoon season. The Narmada was flowing about 50 cm above the dam level of 122 metres, while more than 28,000 cusecs of water was being released from the Ukai dam, which received an inflow of over 62,000 cusecs. Sudden release of water from the Ukai caused total devastation of Surat city last year. Most parts of the region remained without power supply, while fishermen have been advised against venturing into the sea in the next two days.
Courtesy: Hindu - Chennai,India