Ganga floods Varanasi ghats, 20 dead in UP rains

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Varanasi, Sep 6 (IANS) A swelling Ganga river has inundated the temples on Varanasi ghats and forced cremations at the Manikarnika to be shifted to upper platforms, a Uttar Pradesh official said on Thursday.

The river rose by over two metres in the last 24-hours. The famous Ganga aarti from the boats has also been banned.

It is flowing just two metres below the danger mark at 69.91m. The Sheetla temple and Ratneshwar Mahadev temple were submerged.

The water level of Varuna river here has also increased. It has flooded the old bridge area, Konia, Kazzakpur and many other low-lying areas.

Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been pressed asked to keep a tab on the rising waters and brace for any eventuality.

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An NDRF team consisting of 20-25 personnel have been posted on the Assi Ghat, Dashvashmedh Ghat and Rajghat.

Waters of the Varuna river increased due to increased monsoon activity and release of five lakh cusecs of water from the Matateela dam in Lalitpur a few days back, a district official said as rains continued to wreak havoc in many parts of Uttar Pradesh.

In the last 24 hours, 20 persons have been killed in rain-related incidents, including wall collapses, house cave-ins and lightening.

According to the office of the Relief Commissioner, three persons have died in Gonda, two in Mirzapur, one each in Meerut, Sitapur and Bahraich while three persons have died in Kushinagar, one in Unnao, two in Bijnore, one in Auraiyya, one in Jaunpur and one in Etah.

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Sports minister of Uttar Pradesh, Chetan Chauhan would be visiting Farukkhabad later in the day to distribute relief and other material in the district.

He told IANS that he will be taking a boat ride to meet the marooned villagers and give them relief material, food items and medicines.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also scheduled for an aerial survey of flood-hit districts of Barabanki, Basti, Sitapur and Gonda.

Heavy rains have been battering most parts of the state for the last 10 days, leading to flooding of many regions and water logging in major cities and towns.

There was, however, clear skies in Lucknow on Thursday, though the Met forecast two more days of heavy rains in the city and around.

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–IANS

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