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Rajasthan rain leaves thousands stranded

Air Force helicopters have been pressed into service to evacuate people to safer places, reports KS Tomar.
Hindustan Times | By KS Tomar, Jaipur
UPDATED ON JUL 05, 2007 09:43 PM IST

Even as 40 deer lost their lives in Jodhpur district due to floods, Rajasthan government on Thursday evacuated 41 people from Suryata village in Pali district by pressing the Air Force helicopters into service.

The district's administration and police continued their efforts to take the hundreds of marooned villagers to the safer places in about one dozen districts.

Due to incessant rains, a rail section between Pail and Bomadada railway stations got submerged.

Rehabilitation minister, Dr Kirori Lal Meena told HT that there were reports of death of 40 deer at two villages Pipar and Bhopalgarh in district Jodhpur as they were trapped in the river floods.

Meena said "the Air Force helicopters were requisitioned from Gujarat and pressed into action in Sojat tehsil where 41 persons including 11 men, 12 women and 18 children were evacuated."

Rehabilitation minister said "the reports of stranded villagers have come from about 12 districts and we would try to evacuate them as soon as possible."

"About two dozens dams were filled in different districts and villagers tried to manhandle one of the officials at Chelawas village in Pali district as cracks had appeared in hemawas dam. The officials have started the repair work," he said.

Pali's Additional District Magistrate, Kalpna Agarwal informed that the passengers of Jodhpur-Banglore train were stranded at Pali station since early morning and the rescue operation was in progress.

"The small dams and rivers were overflowing owing to heavy downpour in last two days in the district and Sojat tehsil recorded a maximum rainfall in the state of 24 centimetres," Kalpna said.

She said "the railways authorities have also taken up the restoration works of Pali-Bomadada section near Marwar junction."

The national highway from Jodhpur to Ahmedabad via Pali-Sirohi was still unaffected, she added.

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