Criticising the state government over its handling of the flood situation in western Maharashtra, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the Centre should provide help to the affected districts as the state had “fallen short”.
“There is a need to focus on saving the lives of people in Kolhapur, Sangli and Konkan. The minister concerned should rush to the affected area. The activeness of the administration depends on the extent of the seriousness of the head of the state. This time the government machinery fell short. Those in power are not serious about it,” Pawar told mediapersons.
The NCP chief said he wanted to visit the affected areas but local party leaders had advised him against it as the situation was very serious. “Houses, farms, buisnesses, basic infrastructure and roads have been damaged. The milk supply to other parts of the state has been affected as Sangli and Kolhapur are major milk-producing areas,” he said.
Pawar, a former Union agriculture minister, also demanded that the state government completely waive off the agricultural loan given to farmers. “There should be 100 per cent waiver of the agriculture loan to farmers. The state government should conduct the panchnama of the affected areas speedily and provide all necessary help to the persons concerned,” said the NCP chief.
He said his party has decided to provide saplings of sugarcane to the farmers and the NCP would also provide financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh for relief work. “There is a need to think why the situation became so serious and where the government fell short in handling it. The Union government should provide help if the state government is falling short in efforts to tackle the situation,” said Pawar.
NCP workers were also prepared to provide medical help and other assistance to flood-affected people, he said.