With water level receding, the 28 villages in Sangli district that were cut off due to the recent flood are now accessible by road, said officials of Pune Division. In neighbouring Kolhapur, one of the worst-hit districts, three of the 18 villages that were cut off from the rest of the region are still inaccessible.
As heavy rain battered western Maharashtra earlier this month, 46 villages in Kolhapur and Sangli were flooded and cut off from the rest of the districts. The overflowing Krishna river caused havoc in several talukas of the two districts in what may be the worst flood in recent years.
The flood has claimed 55 lives in the five districts of Pune Division — Pune, Solapur, Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli — and wiped off property and crop worth hundreds of crores.
“The inaccessible villages in Sangli district are located in Palus, Valwa and Miraj talukas. Connectivity has been re-established in all 28 of them and aid material is being sent to them via road. Earlier, we had no option but to use choppers for this purpose,” said a senior official with the Pune Divisional Commissionerate.
In Kolhapur, the four worst-hit talukas are Shirol, Gagan Bawda, Karvir and Hatkanangale. “There are three villages in Shirol where water level is still high and it’s impossible to reach via road,” said the official.
Officials of the revenue department said that 479 villages in Sangli and Kolhapur have been affected by the flood and the administration is conducting a survey to determine the extent of damage to provide compensation.
As per the surveys conducted so far, 3,853 homes in Sangli district have been damaged in the floods, with 625 completely destroyed. In Kolhapur, the number of damaged homes has been pegged at 12,512, of which 747 have been completely destroyed.
“The administration has distributed nearly Rs 23.5 crore to 47,428 flood-affected families in five districts of Pune Division so far. This is the ad hoc financial aid (Rs 15,000 for each urban family and Rs 10,000 for each rural family) that the state government has announced. Rs 12.5 crore of this has been distributed in Kolhapur and Rs 10.54 crore in Sangli,” said Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.