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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Pune: River levels rise as more water discharged from Koyna dam, Kolhapur and Sangli on alert

The district collectorate said in the past 24 hours, the Koyna dam catchment area has received 700 mm of rain, which has forced the Irrigation department to release more water from the dam.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: July 24, 2021 11:41:02 am
Pune rainKolhapur and Sangli are also on alert to avoid a 2019-like situation when floods wreaked havoc in the area | Express photo

As the torrential rain eased on Friday, relief and rescue operations began in the worst affected Chiplun taluka of Ratnagiri district. Meanwhile, the districts of Kolhapur and Sangli have been put on alert to avoid a situation similar to 2019, when floods had wreaked havoc here.

“The discharge from Koyna dam, which is 10,000 cusecs, will be increased by 50,000 cusecs till evening. This will lead to rising water levels in Krishna river. We have already sounded alert in 104 villages along the river. In fact, evacuation of the villagers to safer places has already begun,” Sangli District Collector Abhijit Chaudhary told The Indian Express.

The district collectorate said in the past 24 hours, the Koyna dam catchment area has received 700 mm of rain, which has forced the Irrigation department to release more water from the dam. “We are on alert and ready to tackle the situation…,” said Chaudhary.

Kolhapur District Collector Rahul Rekhawar said, “We have already sounded an alert to villages along the Panchganga river. Since the discharge from Koyna dam as well as Almatti dam is being increased, we expect the situation to escalate in the evening, but we have already taken necessary steps to ensure that things remain under control.”

Rekhwar said while the district administration was expecting a situation like 2019 again, “we already have plans in place to ensure safety of citizens”.

Villages such as Prayag Chikhali, Ambewadi and Aarey are very likely to get affected and traffic through Kognoli on the Pune-Banglore highway to access Chandgad, Aajara and Gadhinglaj has been diverted.

Kolhapur’s Guardian Minister Satej Patil told The Indian Express, “Nearly 300 villages in Kolhapur district have been put on alert. Villages which were completely submerged in 2019 are being evacuated. In fact, a couple of villages have already been evacuated 100 per cent. In a few others, 70 per cent evacuation has taken place.”

Patil said, “Besides Koyna, discharge from Almatti dam in Kolhapur is also set to be increased from 1.5 lakh cusecs to 2.5 lakh cusecs. This will also affect rivers in Kolhapur, which will get more flooded.”

Appealing to people from Kolhapur to not venture out unless it was an emergency, Patil assured that the administration was taking every possible step to ensure that people do not suffer.

Patil said he has directed the district administration to shift people and livestock affected due to the flooding to safer places immediately. He has also directed that traffic be diverted through Kognoli on the Pune-Banglore highway. “Traffic on the Pune-Bangalore highway has been affected as stretches in Kolhapur have been flooded…,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kolhapur South MLA Ruturaj Paitl visited the submerged area of Ramanand Nagar and sought help of the Fire Brigade to rescue stranded people. He also ventured into the water using mechanised boats and helped rescue some people, especially children. In areas such as Dutt Colony, Malhar Complex, Khandoba temple and Jadhav Park in south Kolhapur, more than 150 houses were under water.

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