Vadodara: With over two lakh people in the city facing a flood-like situation as Vishwamitri river is in spate after incessant rains, the civic body here has sought the Army's help to provide food packets to those stranded in inundated residential areas.
"We have approached the Army for its help to drop food packets and drinking water bottles by helicopters in the affected areas as it difficult to supply relief material to them since several city areas are waterlogged," Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Manish Bhardwaj told a news agency.
Over two lakh people are affected due to river water inundating the residential areas mostly in western parts of the city, VMC Standing Committee Chairman Hitendra Patel said.
"The worst affected are Panigate, Karlibaugh, Mandvi, Sayajiganj and Munjhmahuda where water has entered residential areas," he said.
The administration had yesterday shifted 1,500 people from these areas. Today 200 more were taken to safer places.
Water also entered the city's Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad hospital, which is located near the river, and the zoo, forcing authorities to shift some animals from there.
All the three bridges on Vishwamitri river have been closed. The administration has also ordered closure of schools and colleges.
Water level in the Vishwamitri river is presently at 33.5 feet, way above the danger level of 26 feet. The river catchment areas and the Ajwa dam received incessant rains yesterday due to which water was released in the river.
"VMC has stopped releasing water from Ajwa dam located on the outskirts of the city since 0530 hours today. It was done after Vishwamitri river, passing through middle of the city, was flowing 7.6 feet above the danger level of 26 feet," Bhardwaj said, adding that it is for the first time in its 128-year-old history that the dam's water level crossed more than 215 feet.
The civic authorities had opened all the 62 gates of the dam yesterday after it touched the level of 215.10 feet against capacity of the dam to store the water up to 214 feet.
The city fire brigade has deployed boats in Sayajiganj, Parshurram Nagar Bhattha, Siddharth Bungalows society in Karlibaugh and other places to evacuate people after flood water entered their houses, Deputy Municipal Commissioner KS Menat said.
Nearly 1,000 people shifted yesterday from the worst- affected areas of the city have been provided shelter in the primary schools premises run by VMC where they are being provided food, medical and other facilities, Patel said.