Heavy rain batters Gujarat, release of water from Narmada dam causes flooding
Several areas in Ahmedabad were waterlogged after the city received 76 mm of rainfall in 12 hours ending at 6 pm on Sunday, throwing the normal life out of gear
Heavy rain lashed several parts of Gujarat on Sunday, flooding low-lying areas and cutting off several villages as Narmada and other rivers are in full spate, prompting shifting of hundreds of people to safer places, officials said.
Several areas in Ahmedabad were waterlogged after the city received 76 mm of rainfall in 12 hours ending at 6 pm on Sunday, throwing the normal life out of gear. Authorities blocked underpasses for traffic as a precautionary measure.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for Panchmahal, Dahod, Kheda, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts predicting isolated extremely heavy rainfall till Tuesday morning. It has also warned of isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in Gujarat in its forecast till Thursday morning.
The release of massive amounts of water from Sardar Sarovar dam (SSD), which touched its full reservoir level of 138.68 metres on Sunday morning, in the Narmada river due to heavy rains in the catchment areas in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh caused massive flooding in low-lying areas in Narmada district.
Around 1,500 people were shifted to safer places from 28 affected villages, including those located near the world's tallest monument the Statue of Unity in Narmada district, officials said.
As the Narmada river is in spate after the heavy discharge of water from the dam, parts of Vadodara and Bharuch districts near the river banks were flooded, they said, adding that the situation is being monitored closely to ensure the safety of the affected people.
Apart from Narmada, rain-fed rivers such as Orsang, Heran, Mahi, Meshri and Panam are swollen due to heavy rain coupled with the release of water from various dams, resulting in the inundation of low-lying villages.
Narmada collector Shweta Teotia said rescue efforts were underway and the administration is keeping close tabs on the situation caused by the release of water from the (Sardar Sarovar) dam.
"About 1,500 people from 28 affected villages have been shifted to safer places," the collector said.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel carried out an aerial survey of the region.
Patel was at Ekta Nagar in Narmada district on Sunday morning to offer prayers to the river after the SSD touched the full reservoir level of 138.68 metres.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local rescue teams evacuated people stranded in flooded areas, including around 70 students of a residential school in Narmada district, and around 100 labourers trapped under a bridge near a river in Panchmahal district, officials said.
Some patients stranded in a hospital in Vasantpara village in Narmada district were also rescued by an NDRF team.
Officials said rescue efforts were being carried out to shift people to safer places as some villages near the Statue of Unity were also flooded.
A Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) official said the water level of the dam eased below its full reservoir level of 138.68 metres with the inflow of water gradually coming down.
As the water released in the river was reduced, it was likely to ease the flooding situation along the river bank, according to the official.
Parts of Panchmahal, Mahisagar, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Kheda, Dahod, Vadodara and Ahmedabad districts were among the worst hit by the downpours on Sunday.
Godhra and Sehra talukas in Panchmahal district received 226 mm and 220 mm rainfall in 12 hours till 6 pm on Sunday, the highest in Gujarat for the day.
Virpur taluka (205 mm) in Mahisagar district, Talod (181 mm) of Sabarkantha, and Morva Hadaf (171 mm) of Panchmahal were among around 16 talukas that received over 100 mm of rainfall during this period, State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said.
As per the state government data, at least ten major dams are near their overflowing marks including Ukai, Damanganga, Kadana and Bhadar.
Gujarat has so far received nearly 90.8 per cent of the average annual rainfall, with Kutch and Saurashtra regions recording 137 per cent and 111 per cent rainfall, followed by south, east-central and north Gujarat with 85%, 83% and 76% of rainfall, respectively, as per SEOC data.
Published: 17 Sep 2023, 8:43 PM