Regional News

‘Could not save her’: Pune man saw wife disappear in flooded stream

Sanjay Rane, a resident of Tangewala colony in Pune’s Sahakarnagar area watched helplessly as his wife was swept away in the gushing water of Ambil odha (stream), on Wednesday night following heavy rains in the city and surrounding areas.

Sanjay’s wife, 40-year-old Jyotsana Rane, a housewife, was washed away in the strong flow after Ambil odha breached.

Eighteen people were killed after unusually heavy rains – as much as 100mm in a four hour period – lashed the city on Wednesday night causing canals to overflow and inundate roads and residences.

Rane said, “We all were trying to get out of the house when suddenly the heavy flow of water came and in that Jyotsana was washed away right in front of my eyes. I could not get hold of her or save her; afterwards, we found her body nearby.”

“It is a terrible shock for our family, especially our ten-year-old son, Varad, who will not be able to see his mother ever again,” said Rane.

According to Pune municipal commissioner Saurabh Rao said that encroachments and the narrowing of the Ambil Odha stream had constricted the natural flow of the stream and had led to the destruction in the affected areas.

Tangewala colony is located behind the Gangatirtha society in Sahakarnagar. There is a canal located behind the society and it comprises of around 125 slum houses close to each other. There is only one road to go out of the area. At night (on Wednesday), the water from the canal started rushing in along with water seeping in from the front side of the houses.

“It was dark and the water level was rising speedily, so all residents climbed over our houses and from one house to another walked through the tin sheets,” said Gopinath Jadhav, a resident of the area, whose leg got injured during the incident.

“ At one point where there was a gap so we made a temporary bridge of bamboos and then finally jumped into the parking lot of Gangatirtha society. Many of the residents were injured while trying to move out,” he added.

Another resident and senior citizen Yamunabai Shinde said, “Our house is just next to the nullah and every time water first comes to our house, so when initially the water level started increasing we alerted all the residents, but the flow of the water was so intense that we just ran out in the open.”

“Everything is damaged inside our houses. If again similar heavy rains occur where will we take shelter,” added Shinde.

The unusally heavy rains in Pune caused widespread damage, killing more than 800 animals, including cattle in local dairies. An estimated 2,000 vehicles on the roads and parking lots were found submerged in the waterlogged areas of south Pune in localities such as Katraj, Bibwewadi, , Padmavati and Sahakarnagar.

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