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Friday, September 24, 2021

Flood situation in Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur alarming: Jayant Patil

The Maharashtra government has urged Karnataka to increase water discharge from Almatti dam beyond 2 lakh cusec.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
July 23, 2021 12:45:54 pm
Municipal Corporation firefighters during a rescue operation after heavy rain in Kolhapur, Thursday, July 22, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The Maharashtra government has urged the Karnataka government to increase the water discharge from Almatti dam beyond 2 lakh cusecs for flood management in the western part of the state.

Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil on Friday said, “Maharashtra is communicating with Karnataka government. At present, the water discharge from Almatti dam is up to two lakh cusecs. We are requesting the Karnataka government to increase the water discharge in Almatti dam.”

The rising water levels in the Krishna basin due to incessant rainfall has led to floods in several cities and villages.

While admitting that the situation in Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur cities in western Maharashtra was “very alarming”, Patil said, “The foremost challenge is to relocate the people living in flood-sensitive areas to safer destinations. This is a daunting task, and the entire state government machinery has swung into action.”

Making an ardent appeal to people not to risk their lives, Patil said, “The flood situation in Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur is likely to aggravate further. We have to take a realistic approach. Relocating people living along rivers and dams is a must.”

Patil said people should move with their family members and animals, and reassured that the state administration would provide shelter houses and essentials to cope with the crisis. He said people were sometimes apprehensive of shifted due to their animals, like cows and cattle, but emphasised that the government would provide them with necessary arrangements.

Due to the overnight rains, water discharge from Koyna dam has been increased to 10,000 cusecs from Friday. The water discharge from Warna dam is 32,000 cusecs.

Patil warned that the water discharge from Koyna and Warna will lead to floods in nearby villages. “Higher water discharge from these two dams was necessary to avert a bigger disaster ahead. If rains continue with same intensity, water levels in dams and catchment areas will also rise. So, we have to release the water at regular intervals,” he said.

Koyna has received 704 mm rainfall so far. Till now, the maximum record of water within 24 hours in Koyna dam has been 12 TMC. But, overnight rain saw Koyna dam receiving 18 TMC water.

“The NDRF team is on ground. They are doing their best to reach out to people,” Patil said.

He appealed to district officers, village sarpanch and elected representatives to prioritise the relocation of people from flood sensitive areas to safer locations.

“Don’t wait for rescue teams. Start the relocation of people living in danger zone immediately,” Patil said. “The administration should keep in mind that the situation could become worse in next 24 to 48 hours if the rains continue.”

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