Ahmedabad, Aug 30 (PTI) The Gujarat government has taken an in-principle decision to permanently relocate 15 flood- prone villages of Banaskantha and Patan district in the northern part of the state. Also Read - India vs England, 3rd Test: The Top Facts About Motera Stadium

The decision to permanently relocate the villages was taken at a cabinet meeting today, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. Also Read - Surat Municipal Election Results 2021: BJP Leading on 47 Seats, AAP Ahead of Congress

“In 2015, these villages were very badly flooded. This year also, the same villages were flooded, resulting in loss of life and property,” Patel said. Also Read - Gujarat Municipal Election Result 2021: BJP Retains All Six Corporations, PM Modi Thanks Voters

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the state government will bear the cost of relocation of villages, which will include building private homes, schools and health centers at new places.

“To find a permanent solution to the problem, we need to relocate these villages,” he said.

Patel said they have formed a state-level committee for relocation and rehabilitation of the affected villages which will be headed by Rupani. Senior ministers and government officials will be part of the committee.

He said they have also formed two district-level committees, which will interact with affected villagers of Banaskantha and Patan and help them chose alternative sites.

The district-level committees of Banaskantha and Patan districts will soon submit their report to the state-level committee and a final decision on their shifting will be taken.

Most of these villages are located on the banks of the Banas river and are in the low-lying areas.

This year, over 65 people died in floods in North Gujarat out of which 18 people died in Khariya village located on the banks of the river.

Patel said the villagers will be given an option to choose government land for relocation.

He hoped that villagers will agree to the proposal of the state government to permanently relocate as it will give them relief from facing flood fury after every few years.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.