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Pune: As roads open, relief material sent to Kolhapur, more help for displaced families

Relief material has started to reach Kolhapur via road as the Mumbai-Bangalore highway opened on Monday morning.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: August 13, 2019 5:05:01 am
 Pune city news, Pune floods, Pune floods relief Material, Kolhapur floods relief material, indian express city news NCP chief Sharad Pawar flags off a team of doctors, medical staff and ambulances, which is being sent for flood relief work in Sangli and Kolhapur districts, in Pune on Monday. (Express photo: Pavan Khengre)

The number of residents displaced by floods in Pune Division has gone up to 4.34 lakh, said Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar on Monday.

Relief material has started to reach Kolhapur via road as the Mumbai-Bangalore highway opened on Monday morning.

The flood-affected families will be given a kit containing 30 items of daily use and food material once they leave the relief camps and go back home, said Mhaisekar. They will also receive cash assistance of Rs 5,000, as well as 10 kg of wheat and rice.

“We have directed banks to ensure that local ATMs are functional so that people don’t face a cash crunch. Currently, there are 313 functional ATMs in the region, containing total cash of Rs 45 crore,” said Mhaisekar.

With dwindling rain and increased discharge from Almatti dam, water levels have started receding fast in the flood-hit areas. According to officials, the water level came down by 3 feet and 5 inches at Irwin Bridge, by 4 feet and 5 inches at Ankali bridge, and by 2 feet and 3 inches at Rajaram bandhara. “The Almatti dam is releasing water at 5.7 lakh cusec, which is the highest so far,” said Mhaisekar.

The toll due to the floods touched 43 on Monday, with three more deaths reported from Pune Division, which comprises the districts of Pune, Satara, Solapur, Sangli and Kolhapur.

“With three more persons dying in Sangli and Kolhapur districts from flood-related incidents, the total toll in Pune Division has reached 43. We are yet to identify the two bodies which were found in Sangli last night,” said Mhaisekar.

Although water levels have subsided, 46 villages in Pune Division, including 12 in Sangli district and 18 in Kolhapur district, are still surrounded by high levels of water and remain cut off. “These are seven villages in Miraj, three in Palus and two in Valva talukas of Sangli district. In Kolhapur, nine villages in Shirol, one in Gaganbawda, three in Karvir and five in Hatkanangale talukas remain cut off,” said Mhaisekar.

According to its initial estimate, the administration fears that dozens of cattle, sheep, goat and thousands of poultry animals have been swept away in the floodwater. “We are afraid that the number will go up when surveys are carried out after the water recedes. The number of livestock death could be very high,” said Mhaisekar.

Meanwhile, as rescue operations in Sangli and Satara near completion, teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indian Army and Navy have started withdrawing from the flood-affected areas. Of the total 17 NDRF teams deployed in Sangli, two were withdrawn on Monday evening and seven more are going to be withdrawn on Tuesday morning.

The remaining eight teams in Sangli and seven in Kolhapur will stay back to carry out relief and aid work.
As on Monday, more than 3,000 Army personnel were deployed for flood relief and rescue operations in 15 districts of the four flood-affected states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

In Belgaum, an Army rescue team was invited by villagers in Raibag tehsil for Eid celebrations.

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