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State’s 'lifeline' turns into ‘canal of death’


Narmada canal near Ahmedabad is turning into the new “demise spot”. The number of suicides and unintended deaths due to drowning in the canal have doubled in the closing 4 years. With bridges on Sabarmati fenced and Kankaria Lake out of bounds, the isolation of the canal supplies considerable spots to the depressed to take their lives. While 80 deaths had been reported in 2018, between January and December, the determine was 65 in 2017, 49 in 2016 and 40 in 2015. The figures are restricted to data stored through Gandhinagar fireplace brigade who are first to answer misery calls. It does now not come with individuals who can have plunged into the canal in neighborhood of Gandhinagar.

Sabarmati river and city lakes out of certain

Additional Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) Rajesh Bhatt said, “The canal has become the new demise spot. We get 375-400 rescue calls each year, of which 275 to 300 pertain to Narmada canal in Gandhinagar and municipalities reminiscent of Sanand, Dholka, Viramgam and Prantij. Rescue calls, restricted to Gandhinagar proper, quantity round 100 alongside the 25-30 km stretch of the canal.”

When requested about causes at the back of prime number of deaths, he said, “All the bridges on the Sabarmati had been fenced. Also, in Ahmedabad passersby alert us or prevent other folks from jumping into the Sabarmati. Kankaria lake is out of bounds whilst Chandola lake has dense population which prevents suicides. Hence, those with suicidal inclinations are transferring out further in search of remoted water bodies like the Narmada canal.”

Accidental deaths also on rise

While maximum demise cases are suicides, a number of other folks unintentionally fall in the canal whilst taking selfies on its slippery slopes. The contemporary incident — young kinfolk of former Union minister Mohan Kundaria falling into the canal whilst being photographed through a friend at Jaspur, is a living proof. Both Bharmin Kosindra and Preet Adroja had been students of MBA and good swimmers, yet they could now not live on the strong water current. The underwater crops and the algae lathered slopes also make it difficult for even good swimmers to save lots of themselves.

Increased need for patrolling

Gandhinagar CFO Mahesh Mod said, “The number of rescue calls have increased prior to now 3 months. In January on my own, we registered seven cases of suicide. In 2005 efforts had been made to fence the bridges, build light masts and increase patrolling due to a number of cases of suicide at the canal. It curtailed the deaths to a perfect extent however in recent years, we're again noticing a spike in deaths.”

Sightseeing vacation spot

Raju Desai (48), a farmer whose farm is positioned but even so Jaspur canal gate the place the two youths drowned, said, “Youngsters don't pay heed to advice of warning. Some of them leap over the parapet of the bridge to take pictures and selfies. The water current is robust right here or even the wind speed is prime. We try to warn them, however they don't listen. At least one body or every so often extra are recovered from the neighborhood each and every week.”

Youngsters don’t pay heed to advice of warning whilst taking selfies, says a neighborhood (PIC: JIGNESH VORA)


Daredevilry will have to be avoided

Kinari Vyas (36) and Mita Vaseta (31), who widespread the tranquil and peaceful environs of Jaspur, said, “We come right here to enjoy nature and peace. The sundown right here is gorgeous. We hear about unintended drownings whilst taking pictures and selfies. However, we're very cautious after we discuss with this position and don’t possibility our lives.” Mita, who lives at within sight Adani Shantigram, said, “This is a gorgeous position, however it may well end up bad if you you ought to be daredevil.”

Canal a suicide spot even in other districts

Recently, when 4 women decided to end their lives together, they chose Narmada canal in Banaskantha to take the plunge. The day their bodies had been recovered, another youth ended existence the same means. A couple jumped into the canal whilst bodies of Mohan Kundaria’s kinfolk had been being searched. The girl was stored whilst the person drowned.


The canal has become the new demise spot. We get 375-400 rescue calls each year, of which 275 to 300 pertain to Narmada canal in Gandhinagar and its neighborhood

Rajesh Bhatt, Additional CFO, AFES

In 2005 bridges had been fenced, light masts constructed and patrolling increased which deaths to a perfect extent however in recent years, we're again noticing a spike in deaths

Mahesh Mod, CFO Gandhinagar

Youngsters don't pay heed to advice of warning. Some of them leap over the parapet of the bridge to take pictures and selfies. We try to warn them, however they don't listen

Raju Desai, Jaspur farmer



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