Gujarat rain: death toll rises to 32

Gujarat rain: death toll rises to 32

 An aerial view of a flooded Rajpara village after heavy monsoon rainfall, in Gir-Somnath district on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Parts of Saurashtra continued to reel under water as rain continued to play truant, raising the death toll to 32.

“So far, we have rescued 4,020 people to safety and now the priority for the government is to provide basic facilities to those affected by floods, ensure no epidemics spread and begin the survey to verify the total loss,” Kaushik Patel, revenue minister of Gujarat, said.

“Though we have 20 teams of NDRF deployed, today (Wednesday) there were no reports of any need for rescue,” he said.

Giving details of the deceased, Patel said that 10 people have lost lives due to lightning and nine have died due to drowning.

Other than 32 human casualties, 125 livestocks too have perished in the floods.

“Of the 251 taluks in the state, 21 have received more than 1,000 mm of rain in the last 24 hours, with 30 taluks receiving 501 mm to 1,000 mm of rain,” Kaushik said.

The rain mainly played havoc in Saurashtra on Wednesday, with Mendarda taluk in Junagadh receiving 133 mm of rain in 10 hours till 6.00 pm, followed by Veraval taluk in Gir Somnath district of Saurashtra receiving  115 mm of rainfall.

The south Gujarat region, which had been witnessing heavy rain, saw some respite with low to moderate rain on Wednesday.

The inflow of water has been such that 13 of the 203 dams across the state have been put on high alert, five on alert and 12 have been given a  warning.

“Nine dams have received more than 100% of water storage capacity, with 22 dams having reached water storage capacity of 70% to 90%,” Nitin Patel, deputy chief minister, later told reporters.

The state government has also begun releasing waters in Narmada canal for irrigation. “The water is likely to reach Banaskantha in North Gujarat in next couple of days and farmers would get adequate water for irrigation,” Nitin Patel said.

Despite heavy rain, Gujarat has seen only 45.02% of sowing this Kharif season.

Last year it was a little over 60% by the same time.

Till date, only 38,71,399 hectare of the 85,65,267 hectare of agricultural land has been sowed.

Among the major crops, sowing for foodgrains such as paddy, bajra, jowar, maize has been at 39.92%, with 5,35,773 hectare been sown.

The pulses have been sowed in 2,11,751 hectare (about 36.83%), oilseed crops as Groundnut, sesamum, castor and soyabean in 10,05,042 hectare (41.52%) and cash crops such as cotton, tobacco, guar seeds, vegetables and fodder in 21,18,833 hectares (50.12%).

Most of the sowing has been done in south Gujarat and Saurashtra region, while the regions of central and north Gujarat have seen less of the activity.

With heavy rain and a massive inflow of water, it is estimated that the sown-seeds in many parts would have perished due to a flood like situation.

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