July 25, 2021 10:58:32 pm
AMIDST desperate pleas for help from flood-hit residents of Ratnagiri, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said his government will extend all possible assistance to them after reviewing the situation in all the districts affected by the deluge over the last few days in the state, adding he would not like to make any announcement just “for the sake of publicity.”
“As a government, we will extend whatever help is needed…We will extend immediate help to the flood-affected and will not seek refuge behind technical issues. I have already given instructions to the district collectors and the divisional commissioners. Once we review the flood situation in all the affected districts, we will announce the quantum of help,” the CM said in Ratnagiri’s Chiplun on Sunday afternoon.
As soon as the CM arrived in Chiplun, aggrieved residents, including shopkeepers, tried to mob him to highlight their plight. A woman shopkeeper, who broke down before the Chief Minister, said, “Everything in our shop and home has been damaged by the flood. There is nothing left to survive on. We do not even have the insurance cover…Until yesterday, we were donating food and clothes to the poor…And now we have been forced to seek such help from the people…Do whatever, but bring us back to our feet,” the woman said to the CM. Several other shopkeepers also said they were left with nothing after the disaster and needed immediate help to survive.
Niket Gujar, a local, told The Indian Express, “The residents and shopkeepers first tried to block the way of the CM who had come to see the damaged marketplace first-hand….Even when he tried to leave, they tried to block his motorcade.” Shiv Sena leader Bhaskar Jadhav and other leaders tried to clear the CM’s path along with the police force present at the spot.
The CM said the flood situation in all districts needed to be reviewed before an announcement is made for extending assistance. “House, roads, shops have been badly affected….crops have been damaged. This has happened in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli districts. Once we assess the situation in these districts, we will be able to announce the help,” he said.
Stating that he would not like to make any announcement for the sake of publicity, the CM said, “In the next two to three days, we will review the flood situation in the state. And then decide the kind of help we will need from the Centre. In the meantime, we are immediately reaching out to the flood-affected people with food, medicine and clothes. I have already given instructions in the regard to the district collectors.”
The Chief Minister said that with flood tragedies happening frequently, there was a need for better flood management as well as water management.
To resolve the problem of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) finding it difficult to reach far-flung areas in Konkan, the state government will set up NDRF-like teams in all flood-prone districts, he added.
The CM said that two days back the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Defence Minister had called him and promised all help required to tackle the flood situation in the state. “The Centre is providing all help to the state government and in future too, if we need any help, we will approach them,” Thackeray said.
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