In response to a flood warning issued on Thursday, the Gautam Budh Nagar administration and police launched a large-scale rescue operation to evacuate residents and livestock from the low-lying areas along the river banks of Noida and Greater Noida, officials said.
Officials said that a total of 2,500 people and 600 livestock animals were successfully rescued from the floodplains in Sectors 126, 135, 134, and 136. The rescued people were subsequently relocated to community centers that were transformed into shelter homes within the same sectors. The affected villages include Raipur Khadar, Asgarpur, Wajidpur, Yakutpur, Safipur, Chuhadpur, Asgarpur, and Bakhtawarpur.
Atul Kumar, the additional district magistrate (finance) and the nodal officer for the evacuation and rescue efforts, said, “All the people evacuated were residing in low-lying areas near the river banks, in farmhouses, nurseries, or working in the fields. The displaced individuals have been provided with shelter homes where the administration is offering food and medical facilities.” Kumar said that the floods had not yet reached the primary residential areas across the river banks in the villages.
To manage the situation effectively, the district established 17 flood control outposts along the 77.5-kilometer-long river embankment area. Additionally, eight medical teams were deployed to provide emergency medical assistance at the shelter homes and flood-affected locations.
“The rescue efforts were carried out by a team of seven divers, one team each from the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and SDRF (State Disaster Response Force), one company of the Provincial Armed Constabulary, and six boats manned by skilled boatmen,’ said the official.
On Thursday, District Magistrate Manish Verma inspected the inundated areas of Sector 135 in Noida and supervised the rescue operations. “Officers have been directed to ensure that relief material, food, potable water, and sanitation facilities were available to the evacuees at the shelter homes. We will ensure that the flood-affected families do not face any kind of inconvenience at the temporary shelter sites. All the concerned officers have to ensure that no person or animal remains trapped in the flood affected area,” he said.
According to ADM Kumar, rescue operations will continue as long as distress calls are received. “We maintain constant coordination with the flood control helpline operators, promptly deploying teams upon receiving distress calls,” he said.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner of police, Noida, Harish Chander and senior superintendent of police (Greater Noida zone) Saad Miyan Khan, along with other senior officials, participated in the relief and rescue efforts. “Police have imposed duty near local dams and have urged villagers through public announcements to evacuate to safer locations to avoid any untoward incidents,” said the DCP.
Over 300 slum dwellers who were displaced when their low-lying homes were inundated on Wednesday evening have established temporary shanties along the Pushta Road in Noida, which runs parallel to the Yamuna riverbank.
Kesarwati, a resident of Raipur Khadar village who works on a nearby farm, said that the Yamuna river swelled unexpectedly, flooding their homes and farms. “The water reached till four to five feet at the farms where we live. There was no warning given to us by any officials hence we were not prepared to leave from the spot. However, we had to hasten and pack up all our belongings last evening as water reached our homes. As we did not have a place to go, all of us reached the Pushta Road and set up our shanties here,” she said.
“We have provided over 150 food packets and water bottles to those displaced due to the flood and have come up at the Pushta Road,” said Rajneesh Verma, assistant commissioner of police-1, Noida.