Surat paralysed; outflow reduced from Ukai dam
Ahmedabad, Aug 9: Life has come to a standstill in South Gujarat's Surat city as water level rose further in low-lying areas, while newer areas got flooded as Tapti river had swollen further since last night.
According to sources, the water level is rising in the city and surrounding 60 villages, as downstream flow of Tapti river has slowed down, as also sea-water from Arabian sea is increasing due to fullmoon nights.
However, amid the grim picture, the authorities have reduced the outflow of water from Ukai dam to 7.5 lakh cusec from 0800 hrs today, as compared to yesterday's over nine lakh cusec, as the inflow of water has also receded in the last 20 hours.
Gujarat government information department also said the water outflow rate from Ukai dam was now around 7.5 lakh cusec, which has given a great relief to people of Surat. This will also help the administration in relief and rescue operations in the marooned commercial city of the state, where majority of people have taken shelter either on roof tops or have shifted to higher places.
Sources said inflow of water in the dam had further reduced and the rate of inflow and outflow is being maintained at the same level to make sure that there was no rise in the water level of the dam.
The dam had crossed its full reserve level (FRL) yesterday evening when water was overflowing at the height of 345.6 ft. This continued till early morning today. The FRL of the dam is 345 ft.
Meanwhile, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to people to donate generously food, water and other possible aids to help the adminstration in relief and rescue operationis. State Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel has said the situation in Surat was grim and grave. The Goverment was taking all efforts to help those who were trapped in this natural calamity.
Army helicopters and boats were working overtime to help the thousands marooned. The state also wants the Centre to help in with relief material.
Over three lakh people have been evacuated in different rain affected areas of Surat so far. Of these, at least 1.9 lakh people have been shifted to safer places in Surat city alone.
The city is also facing shortage of essential commodities and prices have sky-rocketed in areas where the essential commmodies are available.
The situation is similar in other cities like Vadodara, Bharuch and Navsari.
Meanwhile, people have organised mass prayers all over the state for the betterment of the situation. At least 500 villages are in the dark as power supply has either been cut-off or tripped. Of these, 180 villages are in Surat district alone. There could be more villages where power could be switched-off as a precautionary measure by the authorities, sources said.
Three Gujarat cabinet Ministers, Narottam Patel, Bhupendra Chudasma and Harjivandas Patel, are camping in Surat to oversee relief and rescue operations.
Meanwhile, Western Railway told sources here that they have so far transported over 60 tonnes of relief and rescue materials to Surat city.
Besides, more essential items are being transported from Ahmedabad, sources added.