Floods In Rajasthan After Release Of Water From Dams, Thousands Evacuated

Teams of the army and the National Disaster Response Force are conducting operations to rescue stranded people.

Rajasthan has received more than average rainfall this season.

Kota/ Jaipur:

Large areas in several districts of Rajasthan were flooded after water was released from dams, forcing evacuation of thousands of stranded people, including school children.

Teams of the army and the National Disaster Response Force are conducting rescue operations Kota's Chittorgarh, where many people remain stranded after water was discharged from the Kota barrage on Sunday.

Educational institutions have been closed in affected areas and the administration has appealed to people to ignore rumours on conditions of dams and barrages.

In Chittorgarh's Rawatbhata town, efforts are being made to evacuate 318 children and 25 teachers of a private school, who got stranded after water was released from 17 gates of the Ranapratap Sagar dam on Saturday.

"The children and teachers are safe and the school management has shifted them to another building of the school. They can be rescued when the water level comes down," a district administration official said, adding that arrangements of food and water have been made.

If the water level does not come down by Monday, they might be airlifted, he said.

The weather office has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in Baran, Chittorgarh, Jhalawar and Kota districts during the next 24 hours.

Kota is facing an unprecedented situation as it is the first time since the construction of the Gandhi Sagar dam that a record 6.93 lakh cusecs of water has been discharged from 19 gates of the Kota Barrage in a day, Kota district Collector Muktanand Agrawal told reporters.

Over 5,000 people have been evacuated so far in Kota and teams are conducting operations to rescue those stranded and take relief to the affected, officials said.

He said more water is likely to be discharged from the Gandhi Sagar dam which is currently overflowing at 1,314 ft and needs to be brought down to 1,308 ft.

"The army, administration, NDRF, SDRF and civil defence teams are on alert to meet any eventuality," he said, and appealed to people to ignore rumours of damage to dams. Both Gandhi Sagar and Kota Barrage are fully safe and secure, the official said.

The downstream localities in Kota city were the worst affected by the deluge, as water reached even the second floor of houses and people were taking shelter on the third floor of buildings to save themselves, officials said.

The army has been kept on standby at Dholpur and Sawai Madhopur districts and is conducting rescue operations in Kota.

"On call from the civil administration, the columns of the army were mobilised and after recce of flooded areas, army columns rescued the people marooned on rooftops and assisted in the evacuation of people from low-lying areas to safe places," Defence Spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh said.

"The army has distributed relief materials and provided basic amenities to the affected people," he added.