Gujarat News: Over 40 Devotees Trapped in Gushing Gomti River During Pilgrimage in Dwarka

Gujarat News: Over 40 Devotees Trapped in Gushing Gomti River During Pilgrimage in Dwarka

They were attempting to cross the river to reach the Panchnad Tirth (Panch Kui) located on the opposite bank when the water levels surged unexpectedly.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Thursday, March 28, 2024, 02:25 PM IST
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Gujarat News: Over 40 Devotees Trapped in Gushing Gomti River During Pilgrimage in Dwarka | FPJ

Dwarka: Panic struck Dwarka on Thursday as over 40 devotees and villagers found themselves trapped in the rapidly rising waters of the Gomti River. They were attempting to cross the river to reach the Panchnad Tirth (Panch Kui) located on the opposite bank when the water levels surged unexpectedly.

The incident unfolded when a group of devotees and villagers attempted the risky crossing from the Gomti River ghat in Dwarka. In the absence of operational boats and with the Sudama Setu bridge - the designated passage connecting the ghat to Panch Kui - closed for repairs, they resorted to wading through the river itself.

Situation turned critical

However, the situation turned critical as the water levels in the Gomti River suddenly increased, creating strong currents that threatened to sweep the devotees away. Thankfully, fire brigade teams were swiftly deployed to conduct a rescue operation, ensuring the safety of all those trapped in the river.

This incident highlights the dangers faced by pilgrims and locals due to the closure of the Sudama Setu bridge. Constructed in 2016 to facilitate easy access to Dwarka's famed Krishna temples, the 116-meter bridge connecting Shri Dwarkadheesh’s Jagat Mandir with Panchnad Tirth was shut down for renovations in October 2022 and remains unopened to the public. The bridge was constructed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) of a leading private company with the Gujarat Tourism department and the Gujarat Pavitra Yatradham Vikas Board.

Sources reveal that risking the river crossing is a frequent occurrence, with thousands undertaking the perilous journey daily. This raises serious questions about the effectiveness of safety measures, particularly considering the reported well-equipped police force in the area.

Sudama Setu

The closure of the Sudama Setu has significant economic implications as well. Prior to the closure, the bridge reportedly generated a daily revenue of Rs. 50,000 for the Sudaman Setu Society, a testament to the high volume of tourist footfall.

The bridge's reopening would not only ensure the safety of devotees and pilgrims but also revitalize religious and sightseeing tourism in the area. Tourists visiting Panch Kui Beach and the Panch Kui Tirtha, a revered religious site, could potentially spend extended periods at this popular pilgrimage destination.

“The authorities are urged to prioritize the immediate repair and reopening of the Sudama Setu bridge. This will not only prevent similar life-threatening situations in the future but also boost the religious and economic significance of Dwarka” said a devotee.

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