Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel engaged in an incredible rescue operation to airlift a man who was holding on to a tree in Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur on Monday morning after he got stranded at the Khutaghat Dam due to the heavy rain and the rising levels of the dam water. An MI-17 chopper was used for the rescue mission after the man had jumped into the wastewater weir on Sunday evening and subsequently encountered trouble in getting out as a result of the heavy inflow of water. He held on to a tree in order to save himself while seated on a stone for a period of around 16 hours at the Khutaghat Dam, which is considered to be a popular picnic spot, with the place seeing a number of visitors on Sunday. 

Videos of the rescue operation have since gone viral on social media and shows the man being saved from danger by the chopper of the IAF as water is seen gushing past him. Water levels in the state have seen a significant rise due to the heavy rain and rivers like the Sabari too have been overfilled over the last few days. Parts of Sukma district and surrounding areas have been flooded, while an alert has been issued around the areas that have been affected due the rising water levels in the Godavari river. A statement was issued on Saturday by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stating that several states including Chhattisgarh will witness scattered rainfall over the next five days. 

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday issued instructions to all district officials including the state police officials to maintain high alert and make appropriate and immediate arrangements to deal with a flood-like situation in view of the continuous downpour. 

Among the worst-hit in the state due to the heavy rainfall are South Bastar, comprising Bijapur, Dantewada and Sukma districts, with water levels in the rivers seeing a steady rise over the past 2-3 days. A number of villages in interior areas have reportedly been cut off, while nearly 100 villages in the Bijapur district have also been cut-off owing to the overflowing water levels in the Mingachal and other rivers, a district official had told.