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Over 1 Lakh Affected as Maharashtra Grapples With Severe Floods; CM Fadnavis Cuts off Rally to Review

Over 1 lakh people have been affected so far as the flooding has cut off several places. Central Railways also cancelled at least 50 trains and diverted many long-distance trains due to flooding in Maharashtra.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18@vinivdvc

Updated:August 8, 2019, 10:57 AM IST
Over 1 Lakh Affected as Maharashtra Grapples With Severe Floods; CM Fadnavis Cuts off Rally to Review
A view of flooded area in Kolhapur due to overflow of Panchganga river (Image : PTI).

On Wednesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis cut short his political rally to review the severe flood situation affecting parts of Maharashtra. Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune, Palghar, Ratnagiri are among the worst-affected areas.

Over 1 lakh people have been affected so far as the flooding has cut off several places. CM Fadnavis has now requested the Karnataka Chief Minister to release waters from the Koyna dam.

The Indian Coast Guard has been sending out teams to across the Kolhapur district. "....evacuated more than 150 people who were stranded and in distress due to flooded homes and streets," Indian Coast Guard tweeted.

Meanwhile, the opposition has come down heavily on the government for failing to take timely measures to tackle the floods.

“On one hand the government has been talking of a changing Maharashtra. On the other hand, parts of the State get disconnected from the rest of the State because of flooding. This is not right,” Prithviraj Chavan, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said.

Since the last two days, several opposition parties had targeted the Chief Minister for continuing with his ‘Janaadesh Yatra’ rally despite the flood situation transpiring in western Maharashtra and parts of coastal Maharashtra.

On Wednesday, after a flood review meeting, senior cabinet ministers Chandrakant Patil and Girish Mahajan travelled to Kolhapur to review the on ground situation. Rail and road traffic has been affected due to flooding in these areas.

Central Railways has cancelled at least 50 trains and diverted many long distance trains due to flooding in Maharashtra. All access roads to Goa have been cut off; the National Highway 4 has also been flooded at a few locations. Regions like Raigad, Rajapur, Palghar in coastal Maharashtra were badly-affected.

The District Collectors of Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune, Satara, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri through video conferencing briefed the CM on the various relief measures.

“11,432 people have so far been evacuated from Kolhapur and 3000 from Raigad. 53,000 people from Sangli district have been shifted to safer places. CM Devendra Fadnavis has directed to make alternate arrangements for food, essential items and drinking water for the affected people in Kolhapur, Sangli, Raigad and Palghar. Sufficient teams of NDRF, SDRF have also been deployed and the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard teams are engaged in rescue and relief efforts,” a government official said about the briefing.

He further added that CM Devendra Fadnavis has asked the Water Resources department to share information on discharge of water from dams and projects with Railways regularly.

Describing the situation in Kolhapur, state cabinet minister Chandrakant Patil said that it had become impossible to enter the area. “Yesterday, the military choppers and aircrafts too had to return from midway due to bad weather conditions. The road access has been cut off too.”

Patil also went onto say, “The flooding situation is so severe, that I think the issue shouldn’t be politicised."

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