WITH no heavy rainfall in Surendranagar, Rajkot and Morbi districts on Sunday, the flood situation in the three districts eased. However, Banskantha and Sabarkantha districts in north Gujarat received heavy rainfall during the day, recording over 100 mm of rainfall. The Met department too has warned of extremely heavy rainfall in some parts of the state for the next three days, especially in Banskantha, Sabarkantha, Patan and Mehsana districts.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, meanwhile, flew to Chotila town in Surendranagar district, and after visiting a few religious places flooded by rainwater made an aerial survey of the district. Later, he held a meeting with district officials at Chotila and expressed satisfaction with the administration’s response to the flood. The CM directed the officials to take immediate steps to strengthen village ponds in the area.
“The CM also instructed us to undertake preventive evacuation of people from now on if there is warning of heavy rainfall and not wait till the last moment,” Surendranagar District Collector Udit Agrawal said. “The CM ordered immediate survey of damage to the agricultural soil due to heavy rain in and around Chotila over the past one week, so that the process of compensation could begin early,” a press note issued by his office stated. The release added that the CM had asked the local administration to be on guard for one more week.
Rajkot District Collector Vikrant Pandey said that flood situation in the district was improving fast. “All 1,200 people who had been evacuated from low-lying areas in Rajkot, Jetpur and Jasdan talukas have returned to their homes as there has been no further rain and floodwater is receding,” he said. The state administration has begun repair of the roads and highways damaged by the incessant rain of the last few days.
Till Sunday evening, repair and restoration work was on at 25 state highways. These include seven in Surendranagar district, four in Banaskantha, three each in Patan, Kheda and Amreli, two in Ahmedabad and one each in Valsad, Rajkot and Botad.
“Traffic was halted on NH 8 as water level at a bridge across Bhogavo river was deemed dangerous. But as the water level receded, the highway was opened for traffic. Approach roads of villages in the district have been damaged and therefore four-wheeelers are not able to reach them. These villages can be reached on motorbikes,” said Surendranagar District Collector.
In Rajkot, as many as 16 district roads and two state highways have been affected. But traffic has been restored on two state highways — Amarnagar-Sultanpur-Khilori and Jasdan-Chotila. Electricity supply has been affected with 92 villages going without power. The CM has directed Surendranagar administration to restore road connectivity with 35 villages that have been cut off by floodwater.
The toll in rain-related incidents this monsoon jumped to 69 on Sunday. Bodies of two persons, who drowned on Saturday in Narmada and Jamnagar districts, were recovered on Sunday. Two more persons — one man and woman — drowned in a pond at Varahi taluka in Patan. Till date, teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Air Force and State Reserve Police (SRP) have evacuated 7,384 people.
They also rescued 214 people in the last two days. Sixty more people were rescued from the banks of Talav river in Mansa town. A woman and her newborn were airlifted by the IAF from Nana Matra village of Vinchhiya taluka in Rajkot district, minutes after she delivered the child on Sunday evening.
In Maliya taluka of Morbi district, many areas remained marooned for the second day as irrigation department continued to release floodwater from Machhu-II dam.