Narmada main canal breaches

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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi inspects the flooding at Sujatpur, near Mehsana on Wednesday.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi inspects the flooding at Sujatpur, near Mehsana on Wednesday.

Manas Dasgupta

Thousands evacuated; heavy damage to standing crops

GANDHINAGAR: Thousands of people in five villages in north Gujarat were evacuated to safety on Wednesday following a huge breach in the Narmada main canal carrying waters from the Sardar Sarovar dam at Kevadiya Colony to Rajasthan.

Of the five villages in Kadi taluk in Mehsana district, the worst affected were Sujatpura and Balsara along the main canal, what with water gushing out of the 40-foot wide breach inundating them and causing heavy damage to standing crops and household goods. Water logging in the affected areas was 7-15 feet. There was no loss of life.

Besides sending three senior Ministers to the spot to carry out relief and rescue operations, Chief Minister Narendra Modi visited the site. Later, he travelled by a rescue boat to the affected villages to personally enquire people about their safety.

Mr. Modi ordered the appointment of a high-power, technical committee to inquire into the incident and take action against the guilty for the breach and heavy damage to the canal. He asked authorities to do a technical survey of the 458-km main canal from the dam site to the State’s borders with Rajasthan to find out whether there was any construction deficiency.

Health Minister and Cabinet spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas told journalists that steps had been taken to prevent epidemic outbreak. Relief materials had been sent.

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