Heavy rainfall in several parts of Gujarat on Monday claimed at least one life and washed out most garba events for the night, especially in Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot.
Garba organisers face further losses as the India Meteorlogical Department has predicted heavy rainfall till Wednesday and moderate showers till the weekend across the state.
Weathermen have cited cyclonic circulation over Marathwada and neighbouring areas for showers in north and south Gujarat, and Saurashtra. It did not rain in central Guajrat.
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Heavy rainfall with thundershowers left several areas and streets of Ahmedabad city flooded and claimed the life of a 17-year-old boy in Jashodanagar after he was struck by lightning.
Ahmedabad received 154.13 mm rainfall, which continued till 8 pm. The New West zone recorded 53 mm rain, followed by Central zone (34.75 mm) and West zone (23.38 mm).
Sporadic rainfall had been affecting the annual Navratri dance revelry for the past two days in Ahmedabad — where more than 50 garba programmes have been scheduled for over a span of 10 days — but the downpour on Monday evening forced cancellation of most events being organised in the open. Similar cancellations were reported from Surat and Rajkot too.
“Seeing this rain, there is no chance we can go ahead with today’s garba night that was scheduled in the open… I am sure the entire ground will be flooded. There is minimal chance that the event can be arranged in the banquet hall adjoining the plot. Also, we are not hopeful if we will get visitors in this rain,” said Jayesh Naik, organiser of a two-day event in Satellite area of the city.
Another planner Anand Davda, who has a corporate event for two days, said, “This is certainly a loss for us. Though there was some margin in the last two days as it started pouring around the midnight when the event was almost over. But, with today’s heavy rain, we are wondering how to go about it. The worst is for the food stall owners, who are one of the stakeholders in this loss.”
Leaving some grace for the organisers was the fact most of these events have been insured and nearly half the amount could be recovered.
Organising a decent garba night for 2,500 to 3,000 people costs nearly Rs 10-15 lakh for a night and around 90 per cent tickets are sold on the spot.
Late in the evening, Surat too witnessed heavy rainfall accompanied with strong wind. It also rained heavily in the city in the morning. The city recorded 51 mm rainfall on Monday while Olpad taluka received 76 mm rain, according to figures collected from the flood control department of Surat city.
Sources said that the water level in Ukai dam reached 339.39 feet against the danger level of 345 feet. They further said that moderate rainfall had been witnessed in 21 gauge stations in the upper catchment areas of Ukai dam. The dam authorities have started discharging 22,000 cusec of water directly into Tapi river.
Heavy rainfall was witnessed in Saurashtra, including Rajkot, Jafrabad, Dhari, Lathi and Lilia in Amreli, Mahuva and Vallabhipur in Bhavnagar.
With inputs from Rajkot