Even as low pressure continues to cause heavy rains and flooding in several regions of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who conducted an aerial survey on Tuesday, announced a Rs 500-crore central assistance to the state disaster relief fund (SDRF).
PM Modi conducted an aerial survey of the Banaskantha district, the most affected region in the state, forcing the Indian Air Force (IAF), the national disaster relief force (NDRF) and other state agencies conduct rescue operations.
In the past 24 hours, districts of Banaskantha, Patan and Sabarkantha in North Gujarat have seen at least 12 talukas receive over 200 mm of rainfall, as per the state emergency operations centre. At least three IAF helicopters were pressed into service for airlifting locals and the distribution of food packets in Banaskantha, apart from the Indian Army rescuing stranded people using boats.
North Gujarat has, so far, seen over 500,000 food packets being distributed in the affected areas.
Followed by the air survey, PM Modi was apprised of the rainfall and flooding situation across Gujarat by the state government officials in a meeting attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
Apart from the central assistance, PM Modi also announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of those deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured in the floods. As per the state government, over 60 people have died following heavy rains and flooding in the state.
Expressing satisfaction over the relief efforts taken by Gujarat government, PM Modi told media persons that around 10 more helicopters would be pressed into action for rescue operations on Wednesday. "I am confident that the people and the state of Gujarat would emerge even stronger, and will successfully tackle the challenge posed by the floods. The Centre stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Gujarat in this difficult time," he said.
Gujarat has so far received 66 per cent of the average rainfall of 810 mm during the season in the past few weeks. Of the total 203 dams in the state, about 38 have been put on high alert, with 16 others being put on alert and warnings were issued for another 18.