3 Dec

Rain pounds Gujarat, throws life out of gear

first_imgGujarat continues to be battered by heavy rains causing floods. On Thursday, Ahmedabad received 200 mm of rainfall, flooding major parts of the city. The Centre has rushed three more teams of the National Disaster Response Force to the State.The toll in Banaskantha has reached 46 while in Patan district, five persons were washed away in the floods. The total toll has reached 150 in the State since June 1.“More than 10,000 people were relocated from vulnerable areas as a precautionary measure as torrential rain continues in the State,” said a senior government official, adding that more than 1,000 people were rescued by various agencies.‘Grim situation’“Situation continues to be grim because of constant rainfall. After north Gujarat and Saurashtra, the rain is now spreading to central and south Gujarat, causing floods there,” the official added.Portions of at least 20 buildings collapsed due to heavy rains and water-logging. Three persons were injured when a building crumbled in the Gaekwad Haveli locality in the early hours, Ahmedabad Chief Fire Officer M. Dastoor said.“Three persons were injured when a building collapsed in the city. Parts of nearly 20 buildings collapsed since midnight, while 64 trees have been uprooted. Eleven instances of fire were reported due to short-circuits,” he said.The government authorities have ordered all schools and colleges to remain closed in the affected areas. Examinations have also been postponed.As on Thursday, more than 300 roads were closed and hundreds of villages submerged in darkness due to power outage as floods have damaged the power distribution infrastructure.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani visited the affected areas in Ahmedabad and conducted inspection of rescue works. The administration has warned people against venturing out. The Ahmadabad Municipal Corporation issued a warning of heavy rains on Friday and asked people to stay indoors.According to Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, 18 teams of the NDRF, six teams of the BSF, six columns of the Army, two teams of the Navy and over a dozen helicopters of the Air Force were involved in the rescue work across the State, mainly in the two worst affected districts of Patan and Banaskantha.The Ahmedabad airport runway was partly flooded due to heavy rains, though it did not affect the air traffic, its director Manoj Gangal said. Apart from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Kheda also received heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours, affecting thousands of people who had to be relocated to safer areas.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

3 Dec

Bihar flood toll touches 119; over 4 lakh evacuated

first_imgThe flood situation in Bihar and West Bengal continues to be grim as waters from the overflowing rivers in Nepal sweep south, while there has been a slight improvement in Assam.Nearly one crore people have been affected by the floods in Bihar that have claimed 119 lives so far, an official said on Friday. The Bihar disaster management department official said over 98 lakh people in 1,532 panchayats under 139 blocks in 16 districts have been hit with thousands of huts washed away, buildings and roads damaged and standing crops worth crores submerged.According to the official, 4,08,903 people have been evacuated by the Army, NDRF, SDRF and other rescue teams in the last four days. The State government has set up 1,238 relief camps housing 310,041 people in the flood-hit districts.Respite from rainThough rain has let up in West Bengal, about 400 villages in Malda district are facing massive waterlogging with the Mahananda, Fulhar and Purnarbhaba river overflowing.Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said, “Malda has become our main concern now. Due to the flood waters from Nepal and Bihar, the Mahananda river is already flowing above the extreme danger level and the water level is expected to rise.”  “Currently there are about 70,000 people in 116 relief shelters in the district,” district magistrate of Malda Kaushik Bhattacharya said. According to district officials at least eight lakh people have been affected. Twelve teams from two battalions of the NDRF have been deployed in Malda, Uttar and South Dinajpur districts.Assam toll risesWith 11 more deaths on Friday, the death toll in the second phase of floods in Assam has gone up to 60 since August 10 even as the authorities said there were some “signs of improvement” in the overall situation.According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), 25.93 lakh people were affected by the floods in the State. Morigaon was the worst-hit district with 5.29 lakh affected people, followed by Dhubri with 4.76 lakh people. As many as 2,210 villages were under water, it said.7 rhinos deadOver 140 animals including seven rhinos and two elephants have perished in the second wave of floods in Assam that inundated 80% of the the Kaziranga National Park Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rohini Ballav Saikia said here on Thursday.(With inputs from PTI & IANS) Three family members drown as bridge collapses in Biharlast_img read more

3 Dec

Ringing in change, government style

first_imgAll government employees in Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir have been directed to download the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” ringtone on their Jio mobile numbers. The order came from the office of Deputy Commissioner Sheetal Nanda on February 23, who demanded that a compliance report be filed within 24 hours.The government is in talks with Airtel and Vodafone for similar ringtones but the memo mentions only one service provider. According to Ms. Nanda, the decision was taken make sure the campaign message is widespread, and to “put a thrust on having a girl child. In local language“A ringtone was prepared when the campaign was launched. We made a folk singer to sing it in Dogri, a local language. The ringtone was already available on the BSNL members. We got in touch with the Jio company too for the ringtone, which they agreed to,” Ms. Nanda told The Hindu. She had issued fresh directions to all the departments, including school staff, using the Jio numbers to download the ringtone, also used by the Deputy Commissioner herself. “I will ensure 100% compliance,” she said.Responding to the directive, Srinagar-based gynecologist and women rights activist Samina Maqbool said, “Making ringtones mandatory have hardly resulted in change of mindset when it comes to gender justice.”Addressing root causes“The male-female ratio is alarming but at the same time it points at two areas where the government’s intervention is required now. One, high mortality rate among women in Jammu and Kashmir due to poor access to the healthcare and healthy food intake. Two, growing incidences of female foeticide and poor mechanism to stop sex determination in advance,” Dr Maqbool said.While downloading ringtones may help in sensitisation to some extent, “The real solution lies by working on the causes leading to the skewed male-female ratio,” Dr Maqbool said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched “Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao” (Save girl child-Educate girl child) campaign in January 2015 to address the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in India. As per the 2011 census, the adult sex ratio in India is 940 females for every 1000 males. The child sex ratio (of children between the ages 0 and 6 years) is far worse at 914 females for every 1000 males. Figures for Jammu and Kashmir are well below the national average with only 883 females for every 1000 males.last_img read more