Incessant rains continued to lash Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts where over a hundred villages have been marooned. Two villagers were swept away after a boat they were travelling in, capsized in the Wainganga River near Sawangi in Gadchiroli district.
The Gadchiroli district administration informed that 12 people were on board the boat, of which 10 were rescued by the disaster management team while two were swept away. The victims were from Lajad village in Bramhapuri Tehsil of Chandrapur district and were identified as Mahdav Mayind, 45, and Sachin Chandikar, 22.
The villagers has been rehabilitated to another place. However, a few families are still living in the deserted village. Following incessant rains and release of water from Gosikhurd dam, the water from Wainganga river has marooned the old Lajad village. Still, 12 people decided to cross the river in a locally-made boat to escape from the village.
Earlier, four people were swept away in Kuhi nullah near Ballarpur in Chandrapur district when the car in which they were travelling fell into it.
According to reports from the divisional headquarters, the driver lost control of the car and it fell into the nullah. The passengers — three teachers at a private school and the chairman of the education society that runs the institution — have been identified as Sachin Govindwar, Karan Kanwale, Pooja Rajurkar and Suvarna Rajurkar.
In Gadchiroli district, hundreds of villages including Hemalkasa, where Magsaysay award winner Prakash Amte’s lives,were devoid of all means of communication following incessant rains over the past six days. Nullahs and Parlakota river on Etapalli-Bhamrahgarh are in spate after the rains. The water level of Aheri nullah rose because the water level of the nearby Pranhita river went above the danger limit.
All of Bhamragarh town was marooned as the water from the Parlakota river entered the houses and the local administration had to shift several people to safety.
In neighbouring Yavatmal, the district administration has issued flood alert in 50 villages as Painganga river and its nullahs were flowing above the alarming level. The district has registered over 70mm rains in the last 24 hours while in the last 15 days, the district recorded around 350 mm rainfall.
Read more: 18 dead as heavy rains lash Maharashtra
In Amravati district, 11 tahsils had recorded excessive rains that have claimed three lives.
With incessant rainfall in the past six days, Vidarbha region has turned into a rain-surplus region from a rain-deficit one. In fact, several places, especially in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts, the excess rainfall threw normal life out of gear.
Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Nagpur, has issued a warning of heavy rainfall ‘at isolated places’ in Vidarbha until July 16. With heavy rainfall, the water storage in most of the reservoirs in Nagpur Division has improved a lot. The Water Resources Department (WRD) opened Gosikhurd mega irrigation project’s 33 gates by one metre each to release water.
On the other hand, the incessant downpour that has hit entire Vidarbha including Nagpur, signalled cheers among the farmers awaiting the rains for their crops.
This year, Vidarbha has received 66 % more rainfall than average. The total average rainfall of the season from June 1 to July 13 in Nagpur division was at over 550 mm.
According to reports, with good monsoon this kharif season and above average rainfall in the past three weeks all over the region, sowing operations for kharif have progressed very well.
The water stock in major reservoirs of the state that had dipped to around 6% of its combined capacities has started rising. By Tuesday, it had reached 28%. This year is one of the best. The start is ideal and hope the good monsoon continues for rest of the season, says Kishore Tiwari, chairman of the agriculture task force of the state. “Good rain spells have provided an ideal setting for sowing and seeds have germinated well already,” he said adding sowing was almost completed in all five districts of western Vidarbha that saw a drought last season.
In western Vidarbha, comprising Akola, Amravati, Buldhana, Washim and Yavatmal, which saw hardly 450 mm rainfall last season, a deficit of 30-35 %, the region witnessed over 400 mm rainfall by Wednesday.
In Nagpur division (east Vidarbha) comprising, Nagpur, Wardha, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Bhandara and Gondia district, over 60% of the sowing work was completed. Since paddy is the main crop of this division, transplanting the seedlings will take some time. Paddy is grown in roughly half of the 17 lakh hectares under cultivation. The rest is taken up by cotton and soyabean and other minor crops.
The area under cultivation is over 32 lakh hectares in Amravati division’s five districts (west Vidarbha) of Amravati, Akola, Washim, Buldhana and Yavatmal. “According to last week’s reports over 95% sowing operations were done,” Tiwari further informed.