As many as 2,403 people were shifted from Bharuch district as the water in the Narmada river rose due to heavy inflow from the upstream catchment areas in Madhya Pradesh, which also opened the floodgates of its dams. At Golden bridge in Bharuch, the Narmada, which is the lifeline of Gujarat, flowed at 31 feet, nearly nine feet over its danger mark.
The rising water inundated 22 villages on the river banks. Bharuch District Collector M D Modhia said, “There was discharge of 7.50 lakh cusec of water from the Narmada dam into the river. We have shifted 1,624 people from Jhagadia taluka, 401 from Ankleshwar taluka and 378 from Bharuch town to safer places and we are also looking after their basic needs. Two teams of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) are in Bharuch, one in the town and another in Jhagadia. At present, no casualties have been reported but we are keeping an eye on the water being discharged from the Narmada dam.”
The officials also provided the villagers with food and other essential items such as medicines.
Sources in the Bharuch flood control department said that the water had also entered Bharuch town in several areas such as Phurja cross road, where there was above-knee-level water. Other Bharuch localities that were inundated by Narmada water are Katokar darwaja, Kasak, Navi chowk and Vejalpore. The water also entered shops in Phurja crossroad, resulting in damage and losses for the shopkeepers. People in Bharuch town were seen being moved in boats.
The Tapi river in Surat also swelled on Tuesday due to the discharge of 1.28 lakh cusec of water from Ukai dam, which was fast filling up due to heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas. Several cars and two-wheelers parked on the riverfront in Surat city floated away as river water flooded the banks.
The water level in Ukai dam had reached its rule level of 340 feet, just five feet below the danger level of 345 feet, after the upper catchment areas of the Tapi river in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra as well as the lower catchment area in Tapi district of Gujarat received heavy rainfall in the 24 hours leading to Tuesday. This led to an inflow of 1.28 lakh cusec of water into the Ukai dam, and an equal volume was discharged into the river.
Cars and bikes of those working in offices in the Nanpura Bahumali area of Surat, which were parked on the riverfront at Navdi ovara (wharf), began floating away in the rising flood water, and local Kahar youth of a sailor group were engaged for a fee by vehicle owners to retrieve them. Policemen were also deployed at Navdi ovara to prevent people from going to the riverfront.