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Army on alert as flood situation turns grim

The chief minister undertakes aerial survey of the affected areas, reports KS Tomar.
Hindustan Times | By KS Tomar, Jaipur
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2007 09:26 PM IST

Keeping in view the flood situation in Jodhpur, Barmer and Pali, the Army was put on alert by the Rajasthan government on Saturday. The state government also started the execution of "an action plan" to shift thousands of inhabitants of as many as 59 villages to the nearby districts to save their lives.

Due to incessant rains during the past 48 hours, the floods have posed a serious danger to the Jaswant Sagar in Jodhpur district where water is overflowing which, endangering the lives of thousands of villagers.

Of the 227 small and big dams in Rajasthan, 28 are full and 131 partially full due to heavy rains.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje rushed back from Delhi and undertook the aerial survey of the affected areas in Jodhpur and adjoining districts.

Chief secretary DC Samant held the meeting with senior officials to review the progress of the rescue operations being carried out by the air force helicopters and districts administration.

Samant told HT that Army would be called in only when required though it had been put on alert.

Chief secretary said, "district officials had identified all places where villagers would be shifted and adequate arrangements of food, water, shelter etc had been made by the administration in each district.

"different agencies have been involved to take the villagers to the higher points and all facilities will be available including medical teams etc," Samant said.

Rehabilitation Minister Dr Kirori Lal Meena said, "Floods had affected half a dozen districts and Pali was the worst hit where air force help was sought to save the more than one hundred marooned villagers."

Meena said, "Army and police had evacuated 15 children and two teachers who were trapped in a school building in Jodhpur district."

Relief secretary AK Mathew disclosed that the villagers have taken a shelter in their relatives houses also and district administration is helping the marooned people to migrate to the safe places."

PCC chief BD Kalla said, "The state government has completely failed in rescuing those people who had been trapped in floods."

"The government did not anticipate the gravity of the floods on time and disaster management system had collapsed which was most unfortunate," Kalla said.

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