Guj marks 10th anniversary of earthquake

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Gujarat
Bhuj, Jan 26: Gujarat is on a high with development and infrastructure on in full swing. But Gujarat also nurses a secret sadness today as the whole of India celebrates Republic Day. As the nation celebrates its 62nd Republic Day on Wednesday, Gujarat marks the 10th anniversary of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake that killed around 30,000 people.

The city has, however, witnessed rapid development in these ten years. New building, shopping malls, apartments have been constructed in the city.

Hospitals and schools have been developed and new roads constructed in the region. Expressing their appreciation of the development activities, the locals here said that they were planning to migrate when the mishap occurred, as most of them lost their relatives in the natural calamity.

"When the earthquake took place on 26 January, 2001, we used to think that nothing will be reconstructed again. We were planning to migrate from here. But seeing the rapid development, we are thinking, if we would have migrated, then it would have been our loss," said Tarun Mehta, a local.

"At that time many relatives of mine were killed which is a very big loss, and cannot be recovered. But after that, the infrastructural development which took place and the benefit which we have got since then, the industries are also developing here which is a good boost," he added.

The Gujarat Government also introduced various schemes and compensation programmes for the victims and their families.

"Those who had lost their houses in the city and whose apartments were also destroyed, the government provided them with three relocation sites in Bhuj. RTO relocation, Mundra relocation and Ravarwadi relocation were offered to the people," said Naresh Rathi, Secretary Of Builders' Association.

"They have been given plots in these three locations for 100 square meters, also they have been give Rs 1.5 lakh as per the area, so that they can build their own houses on it," he added.

An earthquake of 7.7 magnitude on Richter scale had struck Gujarat on January 26, 2001. The earthquake, which lasted for over two minutes, even caused damage in nearby Pakistan.

The quake had affected 15.9 million people in 7, 904 villages. As the country was struck with the tragedy, aid poured in from many countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Among the death stories, the most heart breaking was the one in which thirty-two students were crushed to death as their school building collapsed on them.

ANI

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