Maha Flood: From house to farm, heavy rains leave villagers with huge losses

Farmers seek immediate relief from state government.
Sachin Reddy, a farmer of Sangvi Khurd village in Solapur, looks at his godown completely damaged by the floods, on October 19, 2020.(PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT)
Sachin Reddy, a farmer of Sangvi Khurd village in Solapur, looks at his godown completely damaged by the floods, on October 19, 2020.(PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT)
Updated on Oct 20, 2020 04:50 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByDheeraj Bengrut

Pune: The torrential rains leading to flood situation in parts of western Maharashtra and Marathwada last week have hundreds of farmers who are already reeling under debt and disrupted economy.

Rains washed away farms, houses and affected farm infrastructure. HT visited some of the flood-affected villages on Monday where Maharashtra state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis toured. Though farmers were hoping the visit by these leaders will bring in relief, some described it as “flood tourism”.

Ganesh Shivaji Dudhe’s house and farms are damaged in floods at Malad Village in Daund tehsil on Pune–Solapur highway.

“It was a horrifying night for us. If we had delayed to leave the house by 10 minutes, our bodies would have been recovered,” said Dudhe (30) describing the night of October 14 when the water level of nearby Nullah started rising by 10 pm and their house was filled with knee-deep water within 30 minutes.

“We collected important documents and cash and ran towards the upper side of the village. Our loss estimate is around Rs 10 lakh,” said Dudhe.

Ganesh lives with his wife, three-year-old daughter, elderly parents and a younger brother. His house and two-acre farm at the backyard is completely damaged.

“We are still cleaning what is left of our house and relatives and friends are providing meals. Apart from standing crop of corns and wheat, two cows, five sheep and hens are washed away by the waters,” said Dudhe.

A mobile tower next to Dudhe’s house also got damaged, thereby affecting Idea and Airtel mobile services in village. As 90 per cent of the villagers use mobile SIM cards of these two service providers, there is connectivity issue in the village.

The bridge connecting to Swami Chincholi village got washed away in floods.

Chandrakant Pandurang Hole, sarpanch, Chincholi village on Solapur highway in Indapur taluka, said, “There was a small bridge over the nullah that flows from outside our village. On the night of heavy rains, a part of bridge washed away. The force of water was so high that it broke the bridge and its base, the soil went off. Drinking water pipeline was also washed away in waters. A temporary water pipeline has been placed, but villagers are still risking their lives to cross the nullah,” said.

Half acre cut down by the heavy force of nullah water in Gunavare vasti village in Daund taluka on Pune-Solapur highway

It was a major shock for three farmers whose combined land of around half an acre (20 gunthas) was cut and washed away in nullah waters. “The force of water cut away half an acre near nullah. We had planted sugarcane crops by taking loan. Our request to the state government is to waive off farm loan. The total damage to our farms is around Rs 10 lakh, including the washed away land,” said Chandrakant.

Another farmer in the area, Tanaji Dada Gunaware said, “The rains have washed away upper soil of our one acre land with standing sugarcane crop.”

Twelve-acre farm land, tonnes of animal food and farm material shed damaged in the floods at Shivane Khurd village in Akkalkot Taluka, Solapur district

Sachin Reddy and his family owns 12 acres in Shivane Khurd village where state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray visited on Monday. The family grows rice and run milk business with 10 buffaloes.

“Our land is next to the Bori village and when the water level started rising, we shifted to the high side of the village. Farms, crops and our shed is damaged. The animal food of more than 20 bags is wasted in the flood water. Two of our buffaloes drowned. None of the government officials have come to do the panchanama, so we cannot move our damaged materials. The CM must provide immediate help to affected farmers, rather than just doing tours.” said Dnyaneshwar Subhash Reddy, one of the elderly family members.

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