75,000 flood-hit evacuated in Kolhapur and Sangli districts
While more than 54,000 were shifted from Sangli district, another 12,000 were moved from Kolhapur, and 8,000 others from Solapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri and other districts.Updated: Aug 08, 2019 23:22 IST
After a review of the flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli districts, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that nearly 75,000 people had been evacuated from Kolhapur and Sangli districts by various government agencies and the armed forces.
While more than 54,000 were shifted from Sangli district, another 12,000 were moved from Kolhapur, and 8,000 others from Solapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri and other districts.
Fadnavis directed the district authorities to make immediate arrangements for drinking water, food, medicines and other essentials for the affected people on priority, besides sharing information on water discharged from various overflowing dams.
He was accompanied by revenue minister and Kolhapur Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil, Girish Mahajan and Eknath Shinde. The chief minister visited the Chhatrapati Shahu School in New Palace Kolhapur which was among the places where the affected people have been offered shelter.
Addressing a press conference in Kolhapur he said the Karnataka government had agreed to the release of water from Almatti dam to ease the situation in Sangli district.
“We are receiving prompt response from the central government,” he said while thanking defence minister Rajnath Singh and Home minister Amit Shah.
Fadnavis said that around 22 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams had been deployed in these regions. “Besides, teams of Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard were engaged in rescue and relief efforts,” the chief minister said.
He said that the state health department had swung into action by dispatching medical teams from Mumbai to deal with the situation and to take special care of children and women. A total of 162 medical teams have been kept ready and will be dispatched as demanded by the local authorities, he said, adding that plans are being drawn for a vaccination drive later to deal with the possible outbreak of water-borne diseases.
“An immediate survey of the damage to crops must also be carried out in these districts,” said Fadnavis.
Initially, it was planned to airlift people from affected regions, but on two consecutive days (Tuesday and Wednesday), helicopters flew up to Kolhapur but were forced to return to base due to heavy rains, poor visibility, and adverse conditions.
Accordingly, the rescue teams then left from Pune by road overnight, with rescue gear. Inflatable rubber boats were airlifted by an IAF AN-32 aircraft to Kolhapur and to other affected areas as decided by the district authorities.
Simultaneously, the Goa Naval Area has sent four teams of divers for rescue operations in Kolhapur, an official said. The teams were flown from INS Hansa in Goa to the Kolhapur airfield where they joined other teams in coordination with the district officials.
On Thursday, Karad, Kolhapur, and Sangli continued to be affected by flood although there was a decrease in the water level and lower intensity of rains.
“We hope to bring things under control in the next few days and promise to do all that is needed,” Fadnavis said.