Convene all-party meet on fighting floods in Maharashtra: Fadnavis to CM

A general view of a flooded square is pictured following heavy monsoon rains at Sangli district of Maharashtra on July 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

With more than 200 people killed and thousands of livestock dead in rain-triggered landslides and floods that have ravaged western Maharashtra and the Konkan region, former Chief Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Devendra Fadnavis has urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to convene an all-party meeting to discuss long-term measures for tackling floods in the near future.

Mr. Fadnavis has written to Mr. Thackeray detailing more than 20 short and long-term measures to tackle floods in the State. Ever since the rains lashed Maharashtra from July 22, causing staggering damage to human life, agricultural land and property, the BJP leader has been touring the affected areas in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Raigad districts.

Emphasising the pressing need for a disaster management cell in the Konkan region, which has been particularly hard hit by natural calamities, including cyclones, in recent times, Mr. Fadnavis said: “A permanent Konkan Disaster Management Unit, which is adequately equipped with manpower, is a must.”

In the last one year itself, the coastal region has hit thrice by cyclones or floods, leaving people vulnerable.

Among the short-term measures, he advocated providing immediate financial assistance to people that would aid them in removing the mud and debris that had entered their homes and shops.

“Let the government accept the submission of mobile phone-clicked photos of damaged homes as valid proof. Furthermore, distribution of compensation to families of the deceased must be expedited,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

Among other measures sought are immediate compensation to farmers for crop and cattle loss and the waiver of their electricity bills; aid for fishermen and shopkeepers; and assistance to rebuild or repair damaged houses with a free supply of sand, stones and cement.

Mr. Fadnavis has also demanded hassle-free loan provision and low-interest loans for the flood hit.

The BJP leader, during his visit to Kolhapur last Friday, had made similar suggestions. At the time, he had met Chief Minister Thackeray, who, coincidentally, was touring flood-hit Kolhpaur on the same day.

As part of long-term measures, he recommended a survey by experts to map flood and landslide-prone villages and the relocation of such villages, and the diversion of flood waters from the Krishna basin using canals and tunnels to drought-hit Marathwada districts.

“This could be done through the Krishna Bhima Stabilisation project. I urge the permanent rehabilitation of affected families in the Koyna Nagar area,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

Citing the case of the Kolhapur Basket Bridge, Mr. Fadnavis pointed out that the demand for raising the heights of several bridges had long been ignored. As many as 22 bridges in Kolhapur required a holistic plan, he noted, while stating that basket bridges could be implemented in more areas.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 9:25:53 AM |

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