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Friday, September 24, 2021

MP flood toll 24; minister faces ire

At least 24 people have died in the last one week since August 1 in rain-related incidents in Gwalior-Chambal region, in northern Madhya Pradesh, officials said on Saturday.

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
August 8, 2021 2:41:44 am
Narendra Singh TomarUnion Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Angry residents gheraoed and shouted slogans against Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar when he visited the flood-ravaged Sheopur district of Madhya Pradeshs on Saturday.

At least 24 people have died in the last one week since August 1 in rain-related incidents in Gwalior-Chambal region, in northern Madhya Pradesh, officials said on Saturday. Flood has impacted more than 1,250 villages in the districts of Gwalior, Shivpuri, Sheopur, Datia, Ashoknagar, Bhind, Morena and Guna, they said.

On Saturday, Tomar was visiting Kataria Bazar in Sheopur city, and began walking with the residents to console women who were weeping after losing their goods in the flood, when angry shop owners gheraoed him and shouted slogans. According to witnesses, the situation worsened soon and the people told the minister that he was too late to pay them a visit.

On Friday, local residents had raised slogans against the collector, Rakesh Kumar Shrivastav, and Superintendent of Police Sampath Upadhyay.

In a video of the incident, Tomar can be seen surrounded by angry local people, who were demanding action against district officials. Many people in the crowd were heard demanding a letter with their complaints to be handed over to Tomar.

Madhusudhan Khandelwal, a trader from Kataria Bazar, said he suffered losses of nearly Rs 4 lakh as water flooded the storeroom stocked with grain and seeds. Similar has been the case with many others, he said.

“The people were angry at the district administration. They (administration) not only failed to alert us but were nowhere to be seen after the rain,” Khandelwal said. “We are angry at the minister (Tomar) and other leaders for posting such officials here…they could not even provide drinking water four days after the flood.”

While water has begun receding, garbage and animal carcasses are left behind in Sheopur. With most of the drinking water for the city’s residents coming through borewells, many said it was a huge struggle since mud water was coming out of borewells.

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