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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Maharashtra: Cabinet to discuss flood relief package today

With each department – PWD, irrigation, revenue and education – set to present its own list of losses, along with compensation for farmers and those who lost their homes, the package could cost Rs 4,000 crore, government sources said.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: July 28, 2021 7:29:53 am
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar inspects the flood situation in Kolhapur district. (Source: Twitter/@AjitPawarSpeaks)

The state Cabinet will discuss on Wednesday a relief package for the flood-affected areas of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur and parts of Pune and Sindhudurg districts.

With each department – PWD, irrigation, revenue and education – set to present its own list of losses, along with compensation for farmers and those who lost their homes, the package could cost Rs 4,000 crore, government sources said.

The toll in the flood in Konkan and western Maharashtra has risen to 209. While 52 people have been injured, eight are still missing. The highest toll has been reported from Raigad with 95 deaths. More than 58,000 animals and poultry have died in the flood and 4.34 lakh people have been evacuated by the government.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and many ministers were camping in western Maharashtra – the NCP stronghold – while Energy minister Nitin Raut is in Konkan.

Pawar, who was touring Kolhapur, said he would have a meeting with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to discuss the demand for raising the height of the Pune-Bengaluru highway. It was submerged in last week’s flood, paralysing traffic on the arterial road. He also said that as shortage of fuel continued in Kolhapur, the same would be given on priority to essential services until supplies resume.

“The state government is willing to shift the people living in flood-sensitive areas to safer destinations. Along with land, all basic amenities can be provided. But the question is, will people give consent?” Pawar said.

Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, while touring Satara, said three villages – Mirgaon, Ambeghar and Hivrale – would be resettled in irrigation department staff quarters, which are lying vacant. He told officials to strengthen the homes and shift 30 affected families there.

Energy Minister Nitin Raut said that in areas where electricity is yet to be restored, his department would provide solar lamps.

Nearly 3.5 lakh hectare is estimated to have been damaged in the flood, claimed government officials.

With Konkan region facing an orange alert from Friday, teams of National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force have been asked to remain in the area so that manpower is readily available if there is an emergency.

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