96 dams put on high alert in Gujarat

Torrential rains damage dam, inundate eight villages

By Anupam Chakravartty
Published: Thursday 08 September 2011

Heavy rains continued to lash Saurashtra and Kachchh region of the country, forcing the Gujarat government to issue alert for 96 dams across the state on September 5. The torrential rains also damaged a gate that regulated flow of water, of Saani river dam in Jamnagar district. This resulted in 45 million cubic metres of water being released from the dam, leading to flood-like situation in eight villages downstream. The dam was repaired last year at a cost of Rs 1 crore.

Till now, 137 people have lost their lives due to the continuous rains and rain-related incidents in Gujarat. The state since August has received 343 mm of rainfall. Before this there was a drought-like situation with only 318 mm of rainfall between June 15 and August 1.

“A ring in one of the gates of the dam got ejected, leaving a gap. We are taking all precautions until it gets repaired,” says Sandeep Kumar collector of Jamnagar.

Meanwhile, 96 dams out of the 200 dams in the state are almost 90 per cent filled and have been put on alert. Sixty-eight among them including the Narmada Dam in Kevadia, and other dams in Kheda, Panchmahals, Dahod, Navsari, Surat, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Amreli and Tapi have been filled to their capacity following continuous rain in Gujarat and neighbouring states. The water level in the Kevadia dam is reported to be 124.75 metres while the full reservoir level is 138 metres.

Rains have also affected fishing in the coastal areas of the state. The Arabian Sea has turned stormy and high tides up to seven metres were reported. This created a panic among the fishermen in the sea. Meanwhile, two fishermen from Porbandar died at the sea while Indian Coast Guard managed to the rescue eight stranded fishermen off the Chorwad coast. Efforts are also on to rescue fishermen in six boats trapped in the Arabian Sea.

Till Wednesday, as many as 227 boats, 150 of them from Porbandar alone, have gone missing due to the heavy rainsl in the coastal areas. "We fear about 1,600 fishermen might be stranded in the sea," says Velji Masai, president Akhil Gujarat Machimaar Mahamandal, a union of fishermen based in Porbandar.

An India Meteorological Department (IMD) update on Tuesday evening said that the monsoon would extend its vigorous spell for two days more over Saurashtra and Kachchh. Widespread rainfall would also continue over central India and along the west coast till Sunday.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.