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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Panchganga river new flood line not imposed, hence Kolhapur floods: Activists

The activists produced a letter given by Credai Kolhapur to the CM’s office on October 9, 2018, objecting to the marking of a new flood line in Kolhapur and demanding that the 1981 flood in the district be the benchmark for any flood line.

pune Updated: Aug 22, 2019 13:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Kolhapur faced floods in 2005 and against that backdrop the irrigation department appointed a private agency to fix a new flood line
Kolhapur faced floods in 2005 and against that backdrop the irrigation department appointed a private agency to fix a new flood line(Anil Velhal/ Hindustan Times)
         

Civic activists in Pune are blaming the state government authorities for allegedly “altering the Panchaganga river’s floodline” for the specific benefit of the building and construction sector.

At a press conference on Tuesday, August 20, the chief minister’s office, irrigation department and builder associations were in the line of fire concerning the recent floods in Kohapur due to the Panchaganga overflowing in the wake of incessant, heavy rainfall. A total of 479 villagers in Sangli and Kolhapur were affected by the flooding and the death toll due as of August 17 stood at 55.

Civic activists Sarang Yadwadkar, Vijay Kumbhar, Vivek Velenkar, Asim Sarode, Suniti S R and Narendra Chug, addressing the press meet, specifically cited “500 hectares of land that played with the flood line”.

The activists produced a letter given by Credai Kolhapur to the CM’s office on October 9, 2018, objecting to the marking of a new flood line in Kolhapur and demanding that the 1981 flood in the district be the benchmark for any flood line. The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation marked this flood line in the development plan approved in 1999.

Kolhapur faced floods in 2005 and against that backdrop the irrigation department appointed a private agency to fix a new flood line

The civic activists, under the Right to Information (RTI) act, found that a private agency completed the flood line work, but as Credai objected, the CMO suggested the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation follow the 1989 flood line.

Yadwadkar alleges that CMO and irrigation department took this decision in favor of the builders.

The activists allege that the 500 hectares “gained from not altering the flood line was allowed to be converted to commercial and residential land use”.

“It shows how serious the government is about floods,” the activists chorused, sarcasm hanging heavy in the air.

First Published: Aug 21, 2019 18:50 IST