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Gujarat rains: Over 12,500 people moved to shelter homes; Narmada river breaches 'danger' mark

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The incessant downpour has affected normal life across Vadodara, Bharuch, Narmada, Dahod, Panchmahal, Anand and Gandhinagar districts.

AHMEDABAD: With heavy rain lashing Gujarat since Sunday, several villages across the state have been cut off after flooding in low-lying areas, as Narmada and other rivers continued to flow at full pace. Around 12,644 people from low-lying areas in eight districts were taken into safety and shifted to shelter homes while 822 stranded citizens were rescued from seven districts. 

The incessant downpour has affected normal life across Vadodara, Bharuch, Narmada, Dahod, Panchmahal, Anand and Gandhinagar districts. According to officials, more than 6,000 people living along the banks of the Narmada River in the Bharuch district have been shifted to safer places in the last two days after the water level rose to 40 feet due to discharge from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Several areas in Bharuch city and tehsil and localities in Ankleshwar are still under knee-deep water even though the water level has been decreasing slowly since Monday morning.

The current water level of the Narmada River is 37.72 feet, nearly 10 feet above the danger mark of 28 feet, at the Golden Bridge that connects Ankleshwar to Bharuch, said an official of Bharuch District Emergency Response Centre (BDERC).

On Sunday, the water level of the river went up to 40 feet at the bridge due to heavy discharge of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) located upstream. Bharuch collector Tushar Sumera said: "From the last two days, the level of the Narmada river on the Golden Bridge is hovering around 40-41ft. Still, it is 40ft and there are chances for its reduction.  Wherever there was water, it has now receded.

5,700 people have shifted already. By and large, the situation is under control." In view of heavy rains, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said he has been in constant touch with collectors of the affected districts. "Relief and rescue operations are being carried out wherever needed with the help of 10 teams of both NDRF and SDRF. In all, nearly 11,900 persons living in low-lying areas of Vadodara, Bharuch, Narmada, Dahod, Panchmahal, Anand, and Gandhinagar districts were shifted to shelter homes," CM Patel wrote on X (f.k.a. Twitter).

"As many as 270 stranded citizens were rescued by the administration while work is on to clear roads by removing fallen trees," he added The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said "extremely heavy rainfall" occurred at isolated places in Arvalli, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, and Sabarkantha districts during the last 24 hours ending at 8:30 am on Monday. The IMD predicted "light to moderate" rain at several places across Gujarat on Monday and Tuesday. As per the rainfall data shared by the State Emergency Operations Centre, 29 tehsils received more than 40 mm downpour between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday.

Relief Commissioner Alok Kumar Pandey said, "Two inches of rain has fallen in 126 talukas of the state in the last three days. Water was released from the Sardar Sarovar project as a result of the rains in the state for the last three days. One state highway and 13 panchayat roads have been closed in the state." Train traffic on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route resumed slowly around Monday noon nearly 12 hours after it was halted when the Narmada river was flowing above the danger mark between Bharuch and Ankleshwar stations in Gujarat, Western Railway said on Monday. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

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