Torrential rain kills 22 in Gujarat

Ahmedabad, July 29 (IANS) At least 22 people have lost their lives in torrential rains since Tuesday which disrupted normal life across Gujarat, officials said on Wednesday.

A heavy depression over Rajasthan has virtually inundated the western state, with forecast of more rain in the next two days.

Ahmedabad district was the worst hit, with six people killed in rain-related incidents like drowning, wall collapses and falling tree.

The situation was similar in places including state capital Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bharuch, Anand and some regions of the normally dry Kutch.

A majority of the 202 major and minor dams and water reservoirs in the state were either full or breaching the danger level.

Commercial capital Ahmedabad has been severely hit by the rains, with many low-lying areas going under 2-4 feet of water.

The Sabarmati river, slicing through the city, was nearing the overflow mark on both banks, posing danger to city inhabitants as well 30 riverfront villages which have been placed on high alert by the authorities.

The heavy rains have inundated rail tracks in the Palanpur-Gandhidham-Dhrangdhra section forcing the Western Railway to cancel 30 trains on Wednesday and another eight scheduled for Thursday.

The Western Railway also partially cancelled seven trains and diverted three on Wednesday, while partially cancelling one service for Thursday.

Nearly 3,000 scheduled services of the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation were cancelled on Wednesday, stranding thousands of people in various parts of the state.

In a daring operation, the state disaster management authorities rescued 24 passengers stranded in a bus which was carried away in the floodwaters and got stuck in a raging river near Shankheshwar town in Patan district on Wednesday morning.

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and her cabinet colleagues were monitoring and directing the relief and rescue operations.

This is the second time during the current monsoon that Gujarat has been badly hit.

In mid-June, 70-odd people lost their lives, and several thousands were displaced.


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