Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani during an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Banaskatha districts of Gujarat. PTI

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a relief of Rs 500 crore after taking an aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Gujarat on Tuesday, many villages around the Deesa city of Banaskantha district continue to remain cut off because the bridges and roads en route have been washed away.

The intensity of the rains has reduced on Wednesday and the relief and rescue efforts continue in north Gujarat. Over 45,000 people in north Gujarat and Saurashtra have been shifted to safer places. As many as 22,000 people have been evacuated from Banskantha, the  worst affected region of the state.

The brighter side of the flood situation is that several dams in drought-prone Saurashtra and northern Gujarat regions are filling up. So, while the rains continue to damage roads and lead to temporary closure of state highways, shortage of water is one area which the BJP will not have to battle with in an election year. Gujarat is slated to go to polls later this year.

Administrative officials maintain that relief and rescue work is on and additional NDRF teams have also been deployed. On Wednesday, more than 100 people were rescued by the army and power had been restored in Dhanera taluka however, over 20 state highways and over 300 village roads continue to be dysfunctional.

So far, at least 83 people have died in monsoon rains since the season began and in the last three days, 10 people have died in floods.

Rescue work in flood affected areas of Banaskantha continues to be on via both air and ground routes and local administrative officials admit that timely alert and evacuation have enabled them to avert a major disaster.

For the administration, the extensive use of social media has also been a boon in reaching out to the locals. Collector of Banskantha, Dilip Rana said, “We have been receiving messages on our Twitter handles and on Whatsapp and we were able to respond immediately.” He said that social media is very useful for coordinating relief work and disseminating information. Principal Secretary Pankaj Kumar has been updating his Twitter account with information about relief and rescue operations and to post alerts. All collectors of the affected areas have been asked to take all alerts on social media and Whatsapp seriously and communicate effectively.Published Date: Jul 26, 2017 03:58 pm | Updated Date: Jul 26, 2017 04:16 pm