Kolhapur: Floods have hit the districts of Kolhapur and Sangli hard with the city of Sangli completely marooned, and over two lakh people living without electricity in affected areas, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Thursday after conducting aerial survey.
Several water-supply schemes have become dysfunctional and crops and houses have been damaged with thousands shifted to safer places, he said, adding that restoring water and electricity supply was the priority.
“During the aerial survey, I found most of the Sangli city surrounded by water. My helicopter was not given permission to land at Sangli and Karad. Since Kolhapur has an airport, I could land here and meet affected people,” he said.
#MaharashtraFloods rescue operations update till 1 pm:
Indian Airforce helicopter landed in Sangli & one more landing in few minutes.
Total 34 teams are working in Kolhapur & 36 teams in Sangli. (These include NDRF, Navy, CoastGuard, SDRF etc).@IAF_MCC pic.twitter.com/5EtpRjKt4V
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) August 9, 2019
Eleven rescue teams including five of National Disaster Response Force were operating in Sangli, and he had sought five more teams from the Defence Ministry for the district, he said.
Teams of doctors were ready in Mumbai to travel to flood-affected areas with supplies of medicines, he said.
Talking abot nine persons drowning after a rescue boat capsized in Sangli, Fadnavis said it was carrying over 30 people and it turned turtle when its engine got stuck in a tree branch. The incident happened because of panic, he said.
In Karad in Satara district flood water was receding, he said.
Air-lifting of stranded persons is the last resort as it requires stable weather to enable hovering, he said.
“As many as 223 villages in Kolhapur have been affected. 18 have been completely marooned. About 28,897 persons are affected out of which 8,923 people were shifted. As many as 97,000 persons had moved out on their own earlier,” Fadnavis said.
Some 38,000 people are staying in relief camps in 152 places in Kolhapur district and sixty boats have been pressed into rescue operations, he said.
Four deaths have been reported in Kolhapur in rain- related incidents so far, the chief minister said.
As many as 3,813 houses are affected in the district, out of which 89 are completely damaged, he said.
Those affected will get financial assistance along with food grains, and a compensation of Rs five lakh will be given to the kin of the deceased, the chief minister said.
As many as 390 water supply schemes in flood-affected areas have become dysfunctional while two lakh people are living without electricity, he said.
“Priority is being given to restoration of water and electricity supply,” the chief minister added.
Crops over 67,000 hectares are damaged in Kolhapur district and there is scarcity of petrol and diesel, he said.
The Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway, which passes through Kolhapur, is closed.
“We are working to ease the shortages,” he assured.
To a question on opposition’s demand that the floods be declared a national calamity, he said the Centre was giving all assistance needed in time of a national calamity.
He suspended his ‘Maha Janadesh Yatra’, a pre-poll outreach campaign, due to the flood situation. “I will undertake second phase of the Yatra after August 18, after assessing the situation,” the chief minister said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked Karnataka and Maharashtra to unanimously decide how much water should be discharged from the downstream Alamatti dam to ease the flooding in Maharashtra, he said.
“The Karnataka government has agreed to discharge five lakh cusec of water from the dam. With this, the water level in Kolhapur and Sangli will fall,” Fadnavis said.