Modi’s July 20 visit off as heavy rains pound Gujarat

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Gandhinagar, July 17 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Gujarat on July 20 has been cancelled following torrential rains in Saurashtra and south Gujarat for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, even as many districts received four to 10 inches of rainfall within six hours.

The Prime Minister was slated to inaugurate a veterinary hospital in Junagadh and attend another event in Valsad. He was also scheduled to visit the state capital Gandhinagar.

In view of the flood-like situation in several areas, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani instructed all his Ministers to visit their constituencies and review the flood situation and rescue operations.

He flew in an Indian Air Force chopper to oversee rescue works in most-affected region of Gir Somnath. Earlier in the morning too, he flew to Keshod though could not land due to inclement weather.

He was accompanied by Chief Secretary J.N. Singh, his Principal Secretary K. Kailashnathan and other officials. Incidentally, Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh leader Mohan Bhagwat is in Gir Somnath area.

Meanwhile, the Manavadar Taluka (block) of Junagadh district received 275 mm rainfall during the eight hours starting 8 a.m. Khambhalia taluka of Devbhoomi Dwarka district received 186 mm, while Ranavav taluka in Porbandar district recorded 164 mm rainfall since Tuesday morning.

The Indian Meteoroligcal Department issued a warning to fishermen along the coastline not to venture into high seas in the next 24 hours. “Heavy to very heavy rains are likely at isolated places in the state and extremely heavy rains in some particular areas, including Gir Somnath and Junagadh areas.

According to the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), over 3,500 persons have been evacuated so far. The administration has been instructed to arrange food packets for the affected and many non-governmental organisations have shown their support to the endeavour.

Official sources said that the Chief Minister is in touch with the Prime Minister on the flood-like situation.

“As many as 180 villages and towns are without electricity and over 184 roads have been closed due to rains. We hope that once the rains and rainwater subside, we will be able to restore power supply,” Relief Commissioner Manoj Kothari told reporters.

Of the 203 dams in the state, five are full to capacity while another six have water level over 90 per cent of their capacity.

As many as 20 teams of National Disaster Response Force have been deployed across the state, with eight teams stationed in the most affected Saurashtra area. Railway authorities were forced to shut down operations of all metre-guage trains as tracks were washed away in parts of Saurashtra.



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