No water, no homes: Pune’s flood-hit stage flash protests
Pune guardian minister Chandrakant Patil who visited the victims of Pune’s flash floods on Friday faced strong protests from residents of Tangewala colony, Sahakarnagar.
Patil, according to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, was in Delhi for seat-sharing talks ahead of the Assembly elections, when Pune woke up to news on Thursday, that heavy rain claimed 18 lives overnight.
Patil was accompanied by Pune city mayor Mukta Tilak, Paravati constituency MLA Madhuri Misal and Khadakwasla constituency MLA Bhimrao Tapkir, during his visit on Friday.
Chandrakant Patil came to the Tangewala colony at 1.40 pm and spoke to residents for 20 minutes. When he was about to leave, thes protest started. Angry residents did not allowing Patil’s convoy to move from the spot, until the local police were pressed into action.
Sanjay Shinde, a resident of Tangewala colony, one of the worst-affected areas, said, “The condition of all our houses has become dangerous as the walls can fall anytime. This is a threat to our lives.”
“Today when Chandrakant Patil came to meet us he did not come inside the colony. He did not give a patient hearing to our problems and within a few minutes he was leaving from here,” said Shinde.
Residents of Tangewala colony allege manhandling by police officials during the protest on Friday. Sahakarnagar police station senior police inspector Nandkumar Bidwai apologised to the residents, especially to the women, on behalf of the police team after the Patil’s convoy left.
Patil said, “I interacted with the residents and gave a patient hearing to their problems. But as the model code of conduct is in place I cannot provide any help now. I was trying to explain to them this, but the residents got angry and started protesting. As I had to visit more flood-affected areas I left from there.”
PMC slow in providing relief, say victims
Flood-affected slum-dwellers in Pune staged an agitation and blocked the Aryaneshwar chowk on Friday morning to protest against the slow pace of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in providing relief and rehabilitation in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the floods.
A large number of women from slums in and around Aryaneshwar blocked traffic at the chowk complaining that the civic staff did not help them clean up their homes which were filled with slush. They were angry as the electric and water supply to the area had been disrupted.
NCP leader and activist Nitin Kadam said that a large number of homes of slum dwellers suffered heavy water logging with their household belongings and furniture getting submerged in the water. Many did not have water to drink.
Kadam said that some voluntary organisations provided assistance with food and blankets but that was not enough. Many residents were forced to spend Thursday night on the roads.
Pravin Gedam, an officer from PMC’s water department said, “All the pumps at the Padmavati station had submerged in the floods and therefore out of order. We have managed to start at least one pump. But it will take at least four days to normalise the situation.”