People flee Surat fearing epidemic | india | Hindustan Times
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People flee Surat fearing epidemic

Long queues were witnessed on railway station and crowds on bus stands as epidemic's threat loomed large.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2006 17:40 IST

Thousands of people of Surat have started leaving the city, fearing epidemic even as flood waters receded, roads became clear and transportation links were restored.

Long queues were witnessed on the railway station and crowds on the main bus stands as the threat of epidemic loomed large over the diamond city in the wake of mud and stinking waste covering the roads.

Although the emergency response centre on Sunday claimed of disposing 3,162 tonnes of solid waste, there was enough for the people to worry - plague striking the city 13 years ago.

"It is difficult to live since it's very dirty all around and stinking. There are chances of epidemic and we are leaving the city," said one Ketan Veervadi from Rander, the area that remained drowned till Saturday.

Veervadi said his neighbours have also gone away either to their native places or to stay with their relatives elsewhere.

The exodus, however, also had to do something with employment.

"We are diamond workers, all working on Varachha road. Looking at the conditions, there are little chances of our business getting back to normal soon," said Ramnaresh Tiwari.

Tiwari, from Ballia district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, had already packed his bags for his native place along with a group of his colleagues.

Meanwhile, the flood condition in central Gujarat was improving as outflow from Kadana and Vanakbori dams decreased significantly. The Army successfully evacuated all those trapped in Dabka village in Vadodara district.

"Fifty-one people were airlifted on Saturday evening. The rest have been evacuated on Sunday and they were taken to the SSG Hospital for treatment," said Vadodara district collector Rajeev Topno.

It took two days for the Army to evacuate 262 people, trapped on the Mahi riverbank because of rising waters.