BHOPAL: In a marathon eight-hour-long operation which stretched up to 2 am on Saturday, the 50-strong NDRF and SDRF teams under supervision of two young Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officers saved 250 residents of a village from being swept away in flash floods in two rain-fed rivers in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh.
The young 2011-batch IAS officer, the Ratlam district collector Ruchika Chauhan and 2010-batch young IPS officer, the district police superintendent Gaurav Tiwari joined the 50 NDRF and SDRF personnel in 10 boats to rescue the 250-odd residents of Bhadankhurd village in Bajna area of Ratlam district, which adjoins Rajasthan.
Heavy rains triggered breach in an overflowing pond, causing flash floods in the Telni and Mahi rivers on Friday, which led to the collapse of two houses in which an elderly woman was critically injured and some cattle perished.
With 250-plus population of the village being marooned between the two swollen rivers and the village being cut off from Bajna area of Ratlam and adjoining Banswara district of Rajasthan, the district collector and superintendent of police sought help over phone from ADG-SDRF DC Sagar, who was supervising search operation for bodies in the Lower Lake in Bhopal, after the early Friday morning boat tragedy.
“50 personnel of SDRF and NDRF, who were deployed in the backwaters of Sardar Sarovar Dam in Barwani and Dhar districts, besides those deployed in Indore embarked a helicopter and were airdropped in Ratlam district. The rescue operations began at 6 pm on Friday and we succeeded in saving precious lives on Friday-Saturday intervening night. It was one of the most difficult rescue operations of the present rainy season,” ADG-SDRF DC Sagar told The New Indian Express in Bhopal.
On Ground Zero amid the threat of villagers being washed away, the young district collector Ruchika Chauhan and SP Gaurav Tiwari led from the front in life jackets.
The rescuers force in 10 boats managed to save all the villagers in the marathon rescue operation which ended at 2 am.
“All the rescued villagers are safe and have been shifted to safer shelters and rendered food and medical facilities,” SP-Ratlam Gaurav Tiwari said on Saturday.
While, the NDRF and SDRF personnel saved the lives of 250-odd villagers stuck in the marooned village, the state Water Resource Department (WRD) teams performed an equally remarkable feat by repairing cracks in a big dam in the village’s neighbourhood in 12 hours to prevent major breach in the dam, which could have washed out large population of Bhadankhurd and adjoining villages of Bajna area of Ratlam.
Importantly, Bajna area of Ratlam district recorded maximum rain of 257 mm-plus over the last 24 hours.
In the adjoining Mandsaur district, around a dozen villages and towns in Mandsaur, Sitamau and Malhargarh areas have been inundated by rainwater.
The rainwater has even inundated the Mandsaur district hospital.
In adjoining Shajapur and Agar-Malwa district, particularly Soyat area of Agar-Malwa district have been badly hit by flooding of small rivers and nullahs due to prolonged heavy rains in the entire south-west MP.
The Met Department has issued a red alert of very heavy rains over next 24 hours for ten districts of the west and south-west MP, including Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam, Shajapur and Agar-Malwa and orange alert of heavy rains for 12 other districts of the same region, including Indore.
More than 200 people have so far been killed by destructive rain, floods or associated mishaps in MP during the ongoing monsoon.