Post rain horror in Maharashtra, efforts on to fix power, stop disease outbreaks
As flood water receded in parts of the affected areas of Raigad and Ratnagiri districts, the administration and state government are now faced with challenges to restore power supply as well as potable water supply and tackle the threat of disease outbreak.
Heavy rains had wreaked havoc in Raigad, Ratnagiri and parts of Sindhudurg districts of the Konkan region, causing floods and landslides at 11 locations and killing over 76 people in the past couple of days.
The district administration in Chiplun, Mahad and Poladpur areas – which were vastly impacted – have started work to restore power and water supply, provide potable water, carry out medical check-ups and distribute medicines, officials said.
In Raigad’s Mahad and Poladpur areas, over 180 villages are affected, district officials said. Most of these villages are without power supply and access to clean water. Similar scenes were witnessed in Ratnagiri district’s Chiplun area where electricity is yet to be restored for 80% of the town, districts officials informed. People in the affected areas have spent over 80 hours without adequate food and water. Their homes, shops and establishments which were submerged underwater are now filled with muck.
Raigad collector Nidhi Chaudhari said that water has now receded in most parts of the district, but two fresh landslides were reported. Though the landslides occurred in an uninhabited area, it is blocking the highway, thereby creating hurdles to reach out to flood-affected areas, she said.
“Mahad and Poladpur are the adversely-affected areas in the district. Only one carriageway is operational on the highway between the two places due to the landslides and flood. So the relief work is taking more time. It will take some more time to restore power supply in these parts. In other talukas, the work of restoring electricity supply is on. For water supply, we are sending tankers, and bottled drinking water has been sent to all the flood-affected villages. We have some NGOs that have come forward to help. We are also utilising our funds to provide food packets, water, clothing etc,” Chaudhari said.
BN Patil, Ratnagiri district collector said that around 20% of the power supply in Chiplun has been restored.
“Water supply is being restored as most sub-stations that were submerged and are being cleaned. They need to heat the transformers for two days at least [before starting supply]. We are using transformers which were not affected to supply power for emergency services.”
In a bid to tackle the threat of disease outbreak following the floods, the district administration has geared up its machinery with the help of local civic bodies and Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers. Authorities added that they have received help from NGOs and private hospitals to distribute medicines.
Chaudhari said the district is going to conduct tests to check for water and vector-borne diseases.
“We have planned to carry out a universal check-up of people in the affected villages. We will conduct four-five tests, including for typhoid, jaundice and diarrhoea, for people who have fever. Besides that, we will also do Covid-19 tests. Medicine distribution is in progress with the help of government machinery and private hospitals,” she said.
Authorities in neighbouring Ratnagiri have started door-to-door surveys in Chiplun to check for influenza-like illnesses.
“Our district officials, along with municipal council and gram panchayat officials, Asha workers are going door to door to check for any influenza-like illness symptoms. The local body has started disinfecting water and only then will water supply be resumed,” Patil said.