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Flood situation improves in Gujarat

By Manas Dasgupta

GANDHINAGAR, AUG. 7. The flood situation in Gujarat improved considerably today, with some let up in rains except in some talukas in north Gujarat and the Saurashtra region, which were lashed by monsoon's heaviest showers.

More than 400 mud houses in Ghodasar village in Modasa taluka of Sabarkantha district collapsed in the heavy rainfall. Ten persons were injured and about a dozen heads of cattle were killed. The taluka has received more than 200 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, nearly half the season's average.

No threat

The water level at the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river rose to 114 metres. But the authorities said the intake had reduced and there was no immediate need to open the sluice gates that could result in inundation of the villages downstream. A Government spokesman said the intake and the outflow from the dam stood at 1.42 lakh cusecs and there was no threat to the villages downstream. Rescue and relief teams, however, continued to remain on stand-by in case the rainfall increased in the upper catchment areas.

A high alert had been issued to people residing downstream of the 26 dams in the north Gujarat and Saurashtra regions and 10 others. They were told to be prepared to be shifted if the situation warranted. More than 90 per cent of the medium and minor dams in the regions were almost full, while a few were overflowing.

Modi visits dam

The Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, visited the Sardar Sarovar dam and held a meeting with officials.He asked them to start preparations for launching power generation from the canal-head power station.

He told the media later that he talked to the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, today and requested him to dedicate to the nation the Narmada dam's first contributions to the country's power grid.

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