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Large areas of Surat flooded by Tapti
August 08, 2006 13:03 IST
Army swung into action on Tuesday morning in Surat city, where many areas are currently flooded by the overflowing river Tapti, even as the administration has evacuated over one lakh residents from there since Monday, flood control room sources said.
Five columns of army called in on Monday have swung into action with boats and life-jackets, evacuating and rescuing people trapped on roof-tops of submerged houses in water-logged areas, the sources said.
The water level in some places near the banks of Tapti was as high as 20 feet, flood control sources in Gandhingar said. Flood control room sources said areas surrounding river like Rander, Adajan, Umra, Katargam, Amroli, Ved road, Parle point and several other areas were flooded prompting the administration to evacuate over 1.50 lakh people.
This is one of the worst deluges that South Gujarat, especially Surat has seen in recent years.
Thousands of people in the city have left their houses situated at ground and first floors after over eight lakh cusecs of water was released from the Ukai dam located upstream on the river in the district.
The water started entering houses on Monday evening forcing people to either leave their houses or take shelter on rooftops or in houses of relatives living in high-rise buildings.
The situation was not expected to improve immediately since there is a high tide in the sea which would prevent quick drainage of water from the river and the city, the sources said.
The flow of water into Ukai dam from catchments is currently 10 lakh cusecs while eight lakh cusecs of water is continuously being released, flood control officials said.
The situation in Surat would improve after the water released from the dam is reduced to less than seven lakh cusecs, they added. The officials said landline telephone connections were badly jammed and authorities in Gandhingar were using mobile and satellite phones to communicate.
No deaths have been reported from Surat, they said. Schools and colleges will remain closed for the second day in Surat even as several roads in the city and bridges on river Tapti lie submerged. Road traffic on national highway number eight has been badly affected near Surat but trains have been plying normally between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
In addition to the massive evacuation in Surat city, about 27,000 people from Vadodara district of South Gujarat has been evacuated as waters in Narmada and Vishwamitri rivers were flowing close to the danger mark.
Most of the people evacuated in Vadodara district are from 14 villages situated on the Narmada riverbank. 6,000-odd people living in Vadodara city on the banks of river Vishwamitri have also been evacuated.
Apart from this, administration has evacuated 6,000 people each in Bharuch and Navsari districts of South Gujarat taking the total number of evacuees to one lakh 90 thousand in Gujarat since Monday, flood control room sources added.