With assessment of damage in the 1,351 flood-hit villages across Konkan and western Maharashtra yet to be completed, the state Cabinet on Wednesday directed the administration to prepare a complete estimate so that a relief package can be announced.
The Cabinet, meanwhile, approved the allotment 2.5 hectare of land for setting up a permanent base of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at Mahad in Raigad, one of the worst-affected areas following incessant rainfall in the last few days. The proposed NDRF base will come up on land owned by the state dairy development department.
A demand had been raised that an NDRF team be permanently stationed in Raigad after the district witnessed a slew of flood-related incidents and house collapses over the last few years. During the recent flood, 95 people died in the district following an increase in the water level and landslides.
While the decision to set up the NDRF base will be taken by the Union government, the state has committed itself to allotting land for the same, said officials, adding that a State Disaster Response Force base could also be set up in the area.
In the meeting held on Wednesday, the Cabinet assessed the damage caused by flood that had hit Konkan and western Maharashtra, claiming 213 lives so far. Eight persons are still missing while 52 have sustained injuries.
According to a presentation given to the Cabinet ministers, initial losses have been pegged at Rs 4,000 crore. “At present, we are giving compensation as per state disaster response norms. We want to give aid as per norms decided for cyclones Nisarga and Tauktae. For this, the district administrations have been asked to expedite work on assessing damage,” said a senior government official.
Mahad in Konkan’s Raigad district has been routinely witnessing flood. Last week, amid heavy rainfall and flood, district Collector Nidhi Chaudhari had sent distress calls to the state disaster management control room seeking help. In some areas, NDRF and SDRF teams could only reach after 24 hours.
Speaking to mediapersons after the Cabinet meeting, Raigad Guardian Minister Aditi Tatkare said that they had requested Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for a permanent base camp of NDRF so that help can be readily available for Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.
Meanwhile, Thackeray had to call off his visit to the flood-hit areas of Kolhapur on Thursday due to forecast of heavy rainfall. The India Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rainfall at isolated places in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Pune, Kolhapur and Satara till Sunday.