Rain-related accidents claim 14 lives, Gehlot announces Rs.1.5 lakh to affected families
Rains lashed Rajasthan, which till the other week was preparing itself to cope with yet another drought year ahead, on Tuesday night bringing both joy and sorrow. There was joy in the rise of levels in the lakes and dams and every water body in Jaipur and in the half-a-dozen neighbouring districts, but then as many as 14 lives were lost in rain-related accidents.
Jaipur alone accounted for seven deaths, while Chomu tehsil on the Jaipur-Sikar road reported another two and, Shahpura along the Jaipur-Delhi road, one. Two of the casualties each were in Mahuwa in Dausa district and in Dholpur. The deaths were due to electrocution, house collapse and drowning. Ajmer and the Shekhawati districts also reported heavy rain. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, expressing his grief over the deaths, announced Rs.1.5 lakh as relief to the families of the victims.
Jaipur received 170 mm rain till Wednesday morning while the neighbouring Swai Madhopur district recorded 210 mm. It rained non-stop for six hours from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday in Jaipur and its surroundings reminding the residents of the floods of 1981 in which several colonies came under water and a large swath of land along the JLN Marg was carried away by strong currents.
The city had woken up to frantic telephone calls in the morning from friends and relatives outside the State, asking about the welfare of the residents. Thanks to television channels and the social media, the news spread about “imminent floods” in Jaipur. Some 100 colonies in the city reported water-logging. The maximum impact of the swirling waters was in the colonies of Jawahar Nagar, Sodala, Sastri Nagar and the main markets. All the roads were inundated for hours, making movement of vehicles almost impossible. Water entered the basement of Sawai Man Singh Hospital and the premises of children’s hospital, Jaykay Lon.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to enquire about the “flood situation.” Mr. Gehlot explained to him that the city had “excess rains” and some of the areas faced water-logging. He briefed the Prime Minister on the overall rain situation. The government was closely monitoring the developments, he assured Dr. Singh.