Swirling floodwaters washed a part of a railway line, leading to suspension of 36 trains from the Ahmedabad division of Western Railway.
Heavy rains pounded Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar districts today, disrupting rail and road traffic, even as people dissatisfied with relief measures clashed with police in Arvalli district. Swirling floodwaters washed a part of a railway line, leading to suspension of 36 trains from the Ahmedabad division of Western Railway. Six trains were diverted, one was rescheduled and 14 were short-terminated, Railway officials said. State administration officials said 54,517 people have been shifted to safer places over the last one week due to flooding of low-lying areas. Ahmedabad gauged over 200 mm of rainfall in 24 hours till 6 pm today, forcing relocation of more than 10,000 people even as the Sabarmati river swelled due to the release of water from the Dharoi dam and the Vasna barrage, district collector Avantika Singh said. Several localities in the city were waterlogged. The administration announced that schools and colleges will remain closed tomorrow too. At least three persons were injured when an old house crumbled in the Old City area last night, while over five dozen trees were uprooted.
Several incidents of fire due to short circuit were also reported though there was no major damage. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani toured affected areas in the city in a boat to take stock of the situation. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation warned people not to venture near electricity poles and streetlights to avoid electrocution. Relief and rescue operations were intensified in the badly-affected districts of Banaskantha and Patan after a let-up in rainfall, with 15 Indian Air Force helicopters and 10 National Disaster Response Force, 11 State Disaster Response Force and six Border Security Force teams working in the region, officials said. Twenty-one IAF helicopters were pressed into service today which rescued 138 people and dropped 27.37 tons of food packets, a defence release said. Army personnel have so far rescued 1,925 people, mainly in the worst-affected region of Deesa in Banaskantha district, it said. “In addition, more than 390 engineers of the Indian Army are using assault boats to traverse the inundated areas, while more than 28 Army medical and veterinary teams are providing immediate first aid to the affected persons and animals,” it said. A mob of around 2,000 people blocked the state highway at Modasa in Arvalli district, protesting administration’s failure to clear waterlogged residential areas.
Police lobbed six teargas shells and wielded batons when the protesters started throwing stones, Superintendent of Police K N Damor said. Gandhinagar and Kheda also received heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours. Kalol in Gandhinagar tehsil received 255 mm of rainfall between 8 am and 4 pm. During the same period, Dharampur in Valsad district received 264 mm of rainfall, while Kadi in Mehsana received 191 mm of precipitation. According to the figures of the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC), 72 people have drowned in Gujarat this monsoon, including 42 in Banaskantha. Till yesterday, 123 people had died in the state due to rain-related incidents. Thirty-two dams in the state are filled to the brim.