Surat faced a flood-like situation on Saturday after the authorities started releasing water from Ukai dam since Friday. Over 200 people were shifted to safer places in Surat city.
On Friday afternoon, the authorities started releasing 64,000 cusecs of water from the dam, which was increased to over a lakh cusecs by night and 1.9 lakh cusecs by Saturday morning. Thirteen out of 22 gates of the dam are open.
The Tapi river has been overflowing with the discharge of water from the dam, following which the flood gates of Surat city on the banks of the river have been closed. Ukai dam authorities said there was no rain in the upper catchment area of the dam on Saturday.
Surat Municipal Commissioner M Thennarasan said, “Waterlogging and overflowing of drainage lines have been reported from different areas and people are facing inconvenience. We are using dewatering pumps in those areas and the water is being discharged into the Tapi river. The water level in Tapi has gone up, due to which flood gates have been closed to prevent water from entering city areas. There is nothing to worry as of now.”
“Over 200 people from low-lying areas in the city have been shifted to safer places. We will shift them back to their homes once the water recedes,” he added.
The upper catchment areas of Ukai dam — which lies in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh — have been receiving heavy rainfall for the past few days, increasing the inflow to the dam to 5.82 lakh cusecs. On Saturday, rain has reportedly stopped in those areas, reducing the inflow to 4.12 lakh cusecs.
Ukai dam superintendent engineer RN Patel said, “Rainfall in the upper catchment areas of Ukai dam in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra has stopped. We are maintaining water level in the dam by releasing 1.90 lakh cusecs. There is nothing to worry as the water is easily meeting the sea through Tapi river.”
The water discharged from the dam takes eight hours to reach Surat city. By Saturday morning, the Tapi was overflowing and after the flood gates were shut, drainage water entered low-lying areas in the city.
People came out of their homes and were seen taking photos and videos of the river in spate. During other seasons, the river mostly goes dry.
Rainfall that started Friday night continued till Saturday, leading to waterlogging in many areas in the city. SMC has installed dewatering pumps in several areas, including Kadarshah Naal, Ved road, Mora Bhagal and Paal.
As per the details from the irrigation department, on Saturday evening, the water level in Ukai dam was 336 feet — one feet above the rule level. The danger level of the dam is 345 feet. The live storage of water in the dam is 5192.30 million cubic metre. The water level in Hatnur dam in Jalgaon district in Maharashtra is 209.54 metres and the outflow is 95,000 cusecs on Saturday evening. The Ukai dam is 78.5 per cent filled.