August 21, 2016 3:30:13 am
Having borne the brunt of drought year after year, Bundelkhand is facing the other extreme this monsoon. The heaviest rains in over a decade have inundated 500 villages and caused severe waterlogging in small towns, claiming nearly a dozen lives over the past few days. Rivers in the region have been flowing above the danger mark in most places while water was released from four dams that are filled to capacity. Vehicular movement is restricted in several areas including the Jhansi-Mirzapur highway due to submerged roads. However, officials said the situation was under control and improving after the rains stopped on Saturday.
Three people were reported to have died in rain-related incidents in Banda, three in Lalitpur, two in Chitrakoot and four in Mahoba district. Most of the casualties were due to house collapses, while at least four people were swept away due to the strong water currents in Mahoba and Banda. According to government officials, over 10,000 people had been affected by the rains and more than 3,000 houses have sustained damage.
Banda Additional District Magistrate Gangaram Gupta said the Ken river has been flowing nearly 4 metres above the danger mark. He said that while only 6 villages had been severely affected by the flood, the district administration has sought motor-driven boats from the army as a precaution to ensure efficient supply of relief material in case of emergency. Mahoba District Magistrate Vireshwar Singh said that most of the dried-up ponds in the district were now overflowing.
Jhansi DM Ajay Kumar Shukla said that water had been released from Rajghat and Matatila dams, and the Betwa river now has over 2.5 lakh cusecs of water passing through it. “The situation is still under control. More water has passed through the river earlier. No villages have been affected in Jhansi but the administration and police officials have been put on alert,” he said. Officials did not have an estimate for the loss of crops, but said that sesame and split green gram (moong dal) crops have reportedly suffered damage due to excess rains.
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