Rajasthan seeks Army help to tackle flood

The Rajasthan government has sought the help of the Army to fight the unprecedented flood situation in the state which has claim-ed over 30 lives till now.

In the last three days, the state has been witnessing unprecedented rain creating a flood-like situation in about seven districts.

“Two columns of the Army have been deployed to help the civil administration in tackling the flood,” said Army spokesman S D Goswami on Friday. While one column is deployed in Jaipur city, the other is at Laxmangarh in Sikar district where the situation is very grim.

The Army is put on alert to help the administration in other parts of the state, he said.  

“Army’s Jaipur based South Western Command has rushed to the rescue with 10,000 sand bags and 10 water pumps to the affected areas of Madrempura, in Jaipur on request for assistance by civil administration. Another flood relief column has been rushed to Laxmangarh in Sikar district,” he said.

In addition, “flood relief columns of the Army have been kept on standby at the affected areas to be employed at the earliest, as and when requisitioned,” he said. The flood relief columns comprises professionally trained troops in execution of all types of conceivable rescue and relief tasks in flood-affected areas along with the requisite equipment, medical team and other support elements of the Army, he added.

In Jaipur, the local civil administration has been unable to drain out the water in low-lying areas leaving thousands of people displaced to find shelter in relief camps. Many areas are still without electricity. Jaipur had received 172.4 mm rain on Tuesday night resulting in a flash flood, a record rainfall after 1981. “On July 19, 1981, Jaipur had recorded 326 mm rainfall and since then, it is the heaviest,” said the Met office.

U-turn

On August 9, Rajasthan had a rainfall deficit of 29.69 per cent. However, the situation took a u-turn three days ago when torrential rains lashed the state. At present, seven districts have received excess rainfall, 20 normal and only six districts reported deficit rainfall, said Relief Minister Brijendra Ola. 

However, rain had a positive impact for agriculture. Sowing in the state for kharif crops has gone up to 122 lakh hectares which is 82 per cent of the total targeted area for this season, an official of the agriculture department said.

He said the flood situation in Nagaur and Dausa districts have some improvement while the situation in Sikar town, Laxmangarh in Sikar district and Nawalgarh in Jhunjhunu district were very grim in the Shekawati region.

 “We have authorised the district magistrates to seek the help of the Army wherever necessary”, he told Deccan Herald.

The situation in Sikar is alarming where many areas have been submerged. Sikar has seen over 200 mm of rain. About 225 children from a hostel have been moved after the hostel became waterlogged.

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