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PM Modi inspects flood havoc in Gujarat, announces ex-gratia, Rs 500-cr relief fund

Rescuers raced to reach people with helicopters and boats as flooded highways marooned scores of villages

india Updated: Jul 25, 2017 23:09 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat floods,PM Modi,Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flies over parts of Gujarat where floods have inundated towns and villages.(@PMOIndia/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected on Tuesday the devastation in parts of Gujarat hit by floods and heavy rains, and announced a payout of Rs 2 lakh to family members of those killed.

Gujarat, Modi’s home state, has been lashed by rains and several of its rivers are in spate after neighbouring Rajasthan opened dams, inundating and cutting off villages particularly in the state’s northern parts. At least 82 people have died since the monsoon rains began a month ago.

“Everything possible will be done to help the farmers, who suffer immensely due to floods… While reviewing the situation, I could see the Government of Gujarat responded to the flood situation quite swiftly,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

He flew over the affected districts in North Gujarat, and announced a relief package of Rs 500 crore. The PM also said a compensation of Rs 2 lakh will be paid for those who died, and Rs 50,000 will be given to those seriously injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

The announcements came as rescuers from disaster response teams and the Indian military raced to reach marooned villagers, some of whom were airlifted by military choppers.

A flooded Gujarat village is seen from the aircraft from which Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected the devastation. (PMOIndia/Twitter)

Before the aerial survey, Modi took stock of the situation at a high-level meeting in Ahmedabad attended by chief minister Vijay Rupani and other officials.

“The PM assured all possible help and assistance from the centre to normalise the situation in the flood-hit areas of the state,” Rupani said after the meeting.

Several places in Banaskantha and Patan, which are otherwise prone to droughts, recorded 15 to 18 inches of rainfall between Monday and Tuesday morning. More than 1 lakh people have been affected, and electricity supply to these regions has been cut off.

Heavy to very heavy rains are likely to lash the state in the next 48 hours, according to Met department.

Three people have died in rain-related accidents in Banaskantha in the last 24 hours, according to the state flood control room.

In the last 24 hours, some 50,000 people have been shifted to safety in the two districts.

Over 1,000 people, including 40 stranded on roofs of their houses in Banaskantha, have been evacuated.

Four helicopters of the Air Force (IAF), two Army columns and 18 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were working for rescue and relief operations.

“Rescue and relief operations are going on in full swing. We will restore electricity supply (in Banaskantha and Patan) as soon as possible,” said deputy chief Minister Nitin Patel.

Seven lakh food packets have been distributed in affected villages using IAF choppers, since more than 370 roads, including six National Highways and 20 State Highways, remained inundated across the state.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 21:08 IST