Bharuch and nearby districts are reeling under the after-effects of what is being described as a man-made tragedy. The Government’s decision to release 18 lac cusec of water in the SSP in the Narmada river backfired with several villages recording a near washout.
The opposition, Congress, has blamed the State government for failing to follow established protocols for gradual water discharge from the dam, instead opting for a sudden release that resulted in widespread inundation and extensive damage to agriculture, markets, and industrial facilities along the Narmada coast in Ankleshwar and Bharuch towns. The Congress has claimed that this immense water release was done to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday last week.
“It is a man-made disaster which has aggravated following gross mismanagement by the State government, “Congress leader Himmatsinh Patel, who spearheaded a delegation’s visit to the flood-affected areas, said.
Faisal Ahmed Patel and his sister Mumtaz through their HMP Foundation have been rendering help to the flood-affected traveling across interior villages. Help is being provided in the form of ration kits, medicines, household goods and clothes.
“In 30 years, we’ve never witnessed anything like this before. People anticipated some rainfall, but there was no warning. Suddenly, an immense amount of water was unleashed in a single day. People are enduring unimaginable hardships in our area”, Mumtaz told Vibes of India.
In response to the disaster, the government issued a notification on September 22, announcing that each affected family would receive a total of Rs 7,000 in aid from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), with Rs 2,500 allocated for clothing and another Rs 2,500 for household goods. Additionally, the government made a special provision to provide an extra Rs 2,000 from the state budget to the affected families, bringing the total compensation amount to Rs 7,000 per family.
The catastrophic release of water followed the dam reaching its full reservoir level of 138.68 meters on September 17 morning, caused by heavy rains in the catchment areas of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh. This prompted authorities to evacuate more than 500 people and relocate over 10,000 residents from low-lying areas to shelters.
Congress claims that these figures are not correct and several more have been affected by this man-made tragedy.
HMP Foundation, amongst its other activities, also runs a hospital besides vocational training centres.