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21 killed as heavy rains pound Maharashtra, more in store

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Pune, Sep 26 : At least 21 persons were killed and nine missing in various rain-related incidents in Maharashtra’s Pune, Jalgaon and Nashik since late Wednesday, officials said here on Thursday.

Of the total fatalities, 14 deaths took place in Pune district, six in Jalgaon and one in Nashik in the past 24 hours of rains, while the India Meteorological Department has forecast more heavy rains for Friday.

According to the state and district disaster management authorities, at least five persons were washed away in flood waters in the Khed-Shivapur area on Pune-Bengaluru Highway. Three bodies were recovered from a well in the downstream region early on Thursday and a hunt is on for the others.

A building compound wall crashed in Arnyshwar Complex, killing six more people, while some others were feared trapped under the debris. While two bodies have been recovered, search is on for the remaining persons.

Caught in a thunderstorm, six people were killed as they took refuge under a tree in Jalgaon, a Maharashtra Disaster Control Authority official told IANS.

Two persons were found dead in cars that were washed away in the flood waters in Kondwa and Saswad areas.

An auto-rickshaw driver was killed due to electrocution in a flooded area of a village on the outskirts of Nashik on Thursday, police said.

As flood waters rose, more than 15,000 people were evacuated from Baramati tehsil, and others from different areas like Sinhgad, Dhanakwadi, Balajinagar, Ambegaon, Sahakar Nagar, Parvati Nagar, Kolhewadi and Kirkatwadi. They have been housed in temporary camps set up in these areas.

In many areas, panicked residents took refuge on upper floors or terrace as flood waters gushed into ground floor residences.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are deployed each in Baramati and Pune, while a fifth team was on its way to Baramati and that the flood situation is being closely monitored.

He also spoke with Baramati legislator and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and promised full help to the flood-affected.

State Congress President Balasaheb Thorat said a very grim situation has arisen due to Pune floods and resulted in loss of lives.

“I urge the state government to take immediate measures to bring relief to the people in this crisis,” Thorat told media persons.

Since last night, Pune city and district has been lashed by more than 16 cm of torrential downpour, with forecast of more rain in the next 24 hours.

Officials said this is a record rainfall hitting the district in the past 10 years, flooding many areas in a very short period.

Normal life has been crippled in the state’s cultural, academic and IT capital since Wednesday as most people preferred to remain indoors under heavily overcast skies and non-stop rain.

An estimated 200-plus big and small vehicles were washed away in the floods in the city and outskirts, besides tonnes of rubbish piling up in different areas.

Local officials said around 150 homes have been damaged, rendering hundreds of families homeless.

In view of rising water levels, flooding in many areas, Pune Collector Naval Kishore Ram has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in Pune city and neighbouring areas of Purandar, Baramati, Bhor and Haveli.

Ram added that Pune has received 180 percent of its annual seasonal total rainfall, a record, and all the dams in the district are overflowing for the first time in 22 years.

Water discharge of at least 13,000 cusec is slated from the flooded Khadakwasla Dam near the city and the Pune Municipal Corporation has evacuated around 500 people. Similarly, the water discharge from Nazare Dam in Purandar was increased to 85,000 cusecs.

Traffic on the highways linking Pune with Mumbai, Nashik, Bengaluru was hit due to rain and at least two incidents of landslides on the Pune-Satara highway.

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Lalu Prasad ‘stable and recovering’, to undergo CT scan

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Lalu Prasad Yadav

Incarcerated RJD President Lalu Prasad will undergo a CT scan on Friday to ascertain his exact health condition even as a senior officer said he was “stable and recovering”.

An official at the Hotwar jail in Ranchi said that the former Bihar Chief Minister’s health had caused concern after he complained of uneasiness in breathing on Thursday evening. Subsequently, a team of doctors from Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences examined the RJD leader.

Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta also rushed to the RIMS and met with the doctors treating the veteran politician. Jharkhand Inspector General of Police (Jails) Birendra Bhushon said that Lalu Prasad’s health had deteriorated on Thursday but was now “recovering and stable”. Earlier, Lalu Prasad also underwent a Covid test and was found negative.

Lalu Prasad is suffering from kidney ailment, besides diabetes and high blood pressure. The RIMS doctors have diagnosed that his kidneys are damaged to the extent of 75 per cent. Doctors could go for a dialysis if his kidneys’ functioning deteriorated further.

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Fire at Delhi’s ITO building, no casualties

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A fire broke out at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO on Friday here. No injuries were reported, and the blaze has been brought under control, the Fire Department said.

The fire started from a meter board of the building. “We received a call around 8.30 a.m. about a fire in the meter board at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO. A total of 12 fire tenders were rushed to the site. The fire was on the second floor of the building,” said Atul Garg, Director Delhi Fire Service.

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Girl and father end life in UP

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A teenager battling depression for two years following her mother’s death ended her life, prompting even the father to take his life out of sheer hopelessness.

According to reports, Shalu, 18, first committed suicide by hanging herself because she could not come to terms with the death of her mother. Suraj, too followed suit, leaving behind two more daughters.

The incident took place in Nankari village in Khairabad area in Sitapur district on Wednesday. Circle Officer Piyush Kumar Singh said that Suraj, who worked as a tailor, lived there with his wife and three daughters. His wife had died two years ago and his daughter Shalu could not come to terms with the death of her mother.

“She went into depression and finally ended her life. Seeing this, Suraj also committed suicide by hanging form the same ceiling fan,” the police official said.

Both the bodies have been sent for the post-mortem. The police had filed a case and further investigations are underway.

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