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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Massive relief operations continues in Sangli, Kolhapur

Nishant Yadav, assistant commandant, Coast Guard, said on Tuesday that more than 800 kg of food and drinking materials had been rushed to Rajapurwadi and Khidrapur villages, ahead of Sainik Takali, which were facing acute shortage of supplies.

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2019 22:18 IST
Sapna Oswal
Sapna Oswal
Hindustan Times, Kolhapur
Sangli: Workers load a boat in a truck to carry out rescue and relief operations, in Sangli district.
Sangli: Workers load a boat in a truck to carry out rescue and relief operations, in Sangli district.(Photo: PTI)
         

Besides the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force, the Coast Guard and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been asked by the district officials to mobilise additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations.

Food packets, drinking water and other essential commodities are being rushed for distribution among the residents in worst affected villages in the districts.

Nishant Yadav, assistant commandant, Coast Guard, said on Tuesday that more than 800 kg of food and drinking materials had been rushed to Rajapurwadi and Khidrapur villages, ahead of Sainik Takali, which were facing acute shortage of supplies.

At least 2,000 people In Rajapurwadi and 700 villagers in Khidrapur with their cattle were caught in the floods. For almost seven kilometres, one cannot see anything but water. All the villages between the destination points have vanished. Krishna river is flowing in high current with only rooftops of villages visible. Water is receding very slowly in the area, Yadav said.

Sainik Takali, 70 km from Kolhapur, is famous for the high number of soldiers from the village. Half of the village is under 15-foot-deep waters.

Villagers marooned after heavy rains led to flooding area reluctant to evacuate saying that they have enough food and only require some essentials along with cattle fodder and drinking water. The villagers want to be with their animals, Yadav said.

With tearful eyes and a voice full of anguish, Jyoti, a flood victim at a relief camp in the village, said, “My life’s earnings are gone. The sheer force of the floodwater was such that we had no time to collect any of our belongings. I have no idea how our lives are going to be after the water recedes.”

Irshad Patil, who had witnessed the floods of 2005, said that even though it was called a ‘Maha Pur’ (great flood), waters merely covered the steps of their house. This time, their houses were submerged when they were rescued, he said.

The National Disaster Response Force along with the Indian Army, Coast Guards and Indian Navy has launched one of their largest rescue missions in south Maharashtra. The Rankala boating club’s owner Amar Jadhav has deployed his eight boats in the rescue mission.

“Kolhapur airport proved to be the most useful resource in the rescue operation in the past one week. Even as the entire city was surrounded by floodwaters and all of its entry points were blocked, it was only the airport which provided air connectivity to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Tirupati. Non-scheduled flights of the army, navy and coast guard for rescue operations successfully landed at the airport,” said Milind Dhond, a social activist.

Anurag Saxena, Army station commander at Kolhapur, said the weather on Monday was favourable to airlift relief material unlike the past two days.

He said that the army focused attention on Prayag Chikali and were able to evacuate the villagers in two days. “Then we started to rescue Shirol, Kurundwad with the help of the air force. The water currents were strong, but the navy and coast guard were able to rescue people from Rajapur and Khidrapur.

“We also sought help from the local NCC team to manage relief material that was coming in. The aviation fuel that came at Kolhapur’s airport was very helpful for all the relief operation taking place by air as villages were still flood affected. We will ensure that rescue material like medical kit, clothes, food, water are packaged in a kit and reach affected areas,” he said.

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First Published: Aug 13, 2019 20:09 IST

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