Gujarat state has faced heavy rains that led to flood-like situations in several areas. On September 18, more than 600 people who were stranded in floodwaters were rescued, and nearly 12,000 people were moved to shelters and safer places. This action was taken to ensure the safety of the people as the heavy rains continued to lash Gujarat, causing problems in many districts of the state.
The constant rainfall led to the overflow of the Narmada dam and nine other reservoirs for two consecutive days. To handle the situation, the state authorities deployed teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and moved people from vulnerable areas to safer locations.
According to the government’s press release, around 11,900 people from low-lying areas in districts like Vadodara, Bharuch, Narmada, Dahod, Panchmahal, Anand, and Gandhinagar were shifted to safe shelters. These shelters are providing them with food and health services to ensure their well-being.
The Chief Minister of Gujarat is closely coordinating with the district collectors in the affected areas. Ten teams from both NDRF and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed for rescue operations in various places.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in parts of Gujarat, which means that the situation may still be challenging in the coming days.
However, there is controversy surrounding the situation. Some political parties, like the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), have criticized the state government for not releasing water from the dam when it was needed for farming. Instead, they claim that the government stored the water, which eventually caused the reservoir to overflow.
Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi accused the authorities of waiting for the dam to overflow for celebratory purposes, leading to floods in downstream areas like Bharuch, Narmada, and parts of Vadodara. He called it a “man-made flood” and demanded accountability from the officials involved.
On September 17, Gujarat’s Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel had visited the Narmada dam site to welcome the overflowing waters, coinciding with Prime Minister Modi’s 73rd birthday celebration.
The Congress and AAP leaders argued that the IMD had issued warnings about heavy rainfall five days earlier, which should have prompted the authorities to manage the dam differently. They believe that the artificial release of water from the dam led to unnecessary flooding in the region.
In response, the state government spokesperson, Rishikesh Patel, rejected the allegations, explaining that the release of water was necessary due to heavy inflow from Madhya Pradesh and ongoing heavy rains in Gujarat.
The situation in Gujarat remains tense as authorities work to rescue and support affected residents, while investigations into the controversy continue. It’s a reminder of how important it is for governments to manage natural resources wisely during times of crisis.