Heavy rains in Gujarat, state on high alert

Heavy rains in Gujarat, state on high alert

A flooded locality after heavy rain in Surat on Monday. PTI

Parts of Saurashtra and South Gujarat region have been inundated due to heavy rain, forcing the state administration to evacuate over 700 people in the last 24 hours.

“In Navsari we have evacuated 262 people to safety. We have 15 National Disaster Response Force teams in the state and have sought additional five,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told reporters.

“We have also written to the Indian Air Force, requesting them to be on alert,” he added.

The worst affected was Gir Gadhada taluk in Gir Somnath district of Saurashtra region, which received 344 mm of rainfall, followed by the same district's Una taluk, which witnessed 267 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours.

Pankaj Kumar, Gujarat's additional secretary, said that in Gir Gadhada the NDRF team helped evacuate over 250 passengers aboard a train, that was stranded due to waterlogging.

“More than 130 roads, including two state highways, have been closed down and 2-3 villages have been cut off. We have requested IAF to help airlift the people here via choppers,” he said.

In South Gujarat, Waghai in Dangs recorded 167 mm of rainfall, while places like Dharampur, Pardi and Valsad in Valsad district, as well as Khergam and Vansda in Navsari districts received heavy rain of up to 80 mm in last 24 hours.

These two districts have been receiving constant rain for over a week, seeing floods in many parts, with local rivers— Ambika and Poorna— in spate.

Over 29 people have lost their lives over the last fortnight due to rain.

However, the chief minister stated that there has been no loss of life due to the rain in the last 24 hours.

“We are ready with a detailed plan to meet any situation. It has been predicted that over the coming five days, there would be heavy rain and we seek to issue adequate warnings and relocate people beforehand. We will work towards ensuring that there is no loss of life,” Rupani said.

Talking of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slated one-day visit to the state, Rupani said that as of now his programme was on schedule.

The prime minister is slated to visit Valsad and Junagadh districts on July 20.

With both these districts receiving heavy rain, doubts are being raised over programme's execution.

Earlier, Congress President Rahul Gandhi postponed his two-day Saurashtra visit, which he was to undertake on July 16 and 17.

“No part of the state is cut off. Also, we still have two-three days. So, we will take stock of the situation closer to the time,” Rupani said.

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