48 Killed in Maharashtra Rains, CM Asks Officials to Remain on Alert as Showers Likely to Continue
For representation: A bus moves through the waterlogged Karad-Vita highway following heavy rain in Maharashtra on Thursday. (PTI)
Heavy rains and floods have claimed at least 48 lives in Maharashtra's Pune, Aurangabad and Konkan divisions in the last three days while crops on lakhs of hectares have been damaged extensively, officials said on Friday.
Twenty-nine persons have died in rain-related incidents in western Maharashtra which comes under Pune division, sixteen in central Maharashtra's Aurangabad division and three in coastal Konkan, they said.
Over 3,000 houses were damaged in heavy rains and floods in Western Maharashtra where more than 40,000 people were moved to safer places, as per the Pune Divisional Commissioner's office.
"14 people died in Solapur, six in Sangli, seven in Pune and two in Satara," said an official. Eight people still missing -- Pune (1), Sangli (3) and Solapur (4).
Crops such as sugarcane, soybean, vegetables, rice, pomegranate and cotton spread over 87,000 hectares in Pune, Solapur, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts have suffered damage, he said.
1,021 livestock perished in the region. 3,156 houses and around 100 shanties were damaged in the downpour and floods in Solapur, Sangli, Satara and Pune districts. 40,036 people from 10,349 households were shifted in four districts: Solapur (32,521), Sangli (1,081), Pune (6,221) and Satara (213).
The death toll was 16 in Aurangabad division and three in Konkan division.
"Thirteen tehsils in Aurangabad division had heavy rainfall, that is, more than 65 mm in 24 hours, which caused flooding and damaged houses as well as crops over 4,99,648 hectares," an official said.
Soybean, bajara, maize, cotton, lentils, banana, sunflower andudid (black gram) crops among others were damaged in Aurangabad region, he said. Crops over 1,36,176 hectares were damaged in Osmanabad district and 1,10,685 hectares in Nanded district between October 12 and 15, the official said.
In Konkan division, 326 houses were damaged in Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts while five cattle died. Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts have reported one death each in rain-related incidents.
The tehsils of Vaibhavwadi in Sindhudurg and Karjat, Khalapur, Murud, Pen and Alibaug in Raigad received more than 100 mm of rainfall in last couple of days, the official said.
Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said farmers, mostly in Pune division, have suffered huge crop damage and he would "ask the Union government to provide some compensation to farmers who have lost their livelihood".
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar reviewed the flood situation in western Maharashtra and asked the administration to prepare 'panchnama' (inspection reports) of damaged crops, houses and other properties immediately.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday instructed the administration to remain alert considering a prediction of heavy rainfall again for some days in the state. He asked the authorities to ensure that people are not caught off-guard.
People in flood-prone areas should be shifted to safer locations by taking them into confidence, he said.
The chief minister made the remarks during a meeting with divisional commissioners of Pune, Konkan, Aurangabad and Nashik and district collectors from these regions to review the flood situation.
He also instructed that COVID-19-related precautions should be taken while carrying out relief work in flood-affected areas and masks and sanitisers be made available.
Thackeray also ordered immediate spot inspections of damage to crops and properties and disbursal of financial aid to the kin of those who died in rain-related incidents.
(With inputs from PTI)