Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday urged Opposition parties not to politicise the floods in western Maharashtra, cautioning that people won’t forgive them.
“It’s my ardent plea to Opposition parties not to politicise the floods. People are reeling in hardships and our foremost task should be to reach out relief measures to them,” Fadnavis said after his second visit to flood-hit Kolhapur and Sangli districts.
“We will certainly appreciate if the Opposition points out the administration’s shortcomings or gives suggestions on tackling the floods.”
“This is not the time for politics. People won’t like it. Once the floods have receded and normalcy is restored, there will be plenty of opportunities to indulge in politics,” he added.
Fadnavis said the Maharashtra and Karnataka governments were coordinating with each other on relief and rescue work in the flood-affected areas in both states.
On Saturday, 5,30,000 cusec of water was discharged from Almatti dam to ease the flood situation, he said.
Congress and NCP leaders have been attacking the Maharashtra government for failing to get more water discharged from Almatti dam.
Addressing the media after touring Sangli on Saturday, Fadnavis said, “Till now, 3,78,000 people have been relocated from flood-affected areas to safer destinations. There are 306 camps to accommodate the flood-hit. Preliminary data shows 27,468 hectares of farm land have been adversely hit by the floods. Nearly 484 km of roads have been damaged…”
“This year’s rainfall has been unprecedented. If we compare Sangli’s rainfall in the 2005 floods, 217 per cent excess rain was received in 31 days during that calamity. This year we have received more than thrice of that, 758 per cent excess rain in just nine days. Same has been the case in Kolhapur as well. All agencies are working together and there is full support from the central government,” Fadnavis said.
When asked if systems were not prepared to deal with the situation, he said, “We will have to strengthen the systems and I have given directions to all the agencies involved. We will have to prepare ourselves for heavier rainfall in shorter durations. Our rivers at this point do not have the capacity to drain out the kind of rainfall that we received…”
Almost 100 doctors have been parked in Sangli and Kolhapur. The government has released Rs 154 crore to tackle the situation.
The compensation for death has been increased from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. For the injured, the amount has been raised from Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The compensation for loss of big animal is Rs 30,000.
CM defends Mahajan
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Saturday defended Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who came under fire from the Opposition after his selfie videos in Kolhapur went viral, saying that the minister visited the worst flood-hit areas against several odds. “What I gather is, Mahajan after meeting people returned to the rescue boat. When the boat set out, he waved to people. Now, someone circulated it as a selfie,” he said.
Rains abate in Konkan
The situation in coastal Konkan following incessant rain for the last four-five days eased on Saturday after the rain abated. The government said 3,000 people in Raigad district, 500 in Sindhudurg and 757 in Ratnagiri have been shifted to safer areas. Food and medicines are bring provided to the affected people.