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Nine feared dead as boat capsizes in Maharashtra

Rescue mission: Soldiers moving villagers from flooded areas near the Pune- Bangalore highway on the outskirts of Kolhapur city on Thursday.

Rescue mission: Soldiers moving villagers from flooded areas near the Pune- Bangalore highway on the outskirts of Kolhapur city on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Abhijeet Gurjar

CM announces ₹5 lakh compensation; 2.05 lakh citizens evacuated in five districts

At least nine people, including seven women and one child, were killed while four others are feared drowned when a boat ferrying more than 30 people stranded in Snagli’s Brahmanal village capsized on Thursday.

District authorities said that nine bodies had been recovered, while search is on for the missing persons. Fifteen people have been rescued, said officials.

Rising floodwaters

The incident is believed to have occurred when the residents of the village, cut off by rising floodwaters, attempted to head for safety on their own.

“The boat, which belonged to the Brahmanal Gram Panchayat, was not part of official relief operations being conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Army personnel,” said Pune Divisional Commissioner, Dr. Deepak Mhaisekar.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of ₹5 lakh for the kin of the deceased.

“According to information I have received, it appears that the boat was overloaded. The machine of the boat got entangled in the branch of a tree which caused the mishap,” said the Chief Minister, appealing to those who were marooned to be patient and not venture out on their own.

Residents of Brahmanal accused the district administration of apathy, stating that the authorities had forsaken them by not sending them when they sought it.

“The water here has now crossed 20 feet…when the sarpanch of Brahmanal had urged the administration to provide them with boats, the latter had turned a blind eye to our plight thus forcing villagers to take their own initiative and make this hazardous journey to safer quarters,” said Sandeep Rajoba, a resident of Brahmanal and an activist of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana. He said more than 200 people were still stranded in the village.

Meanwhile, continuous rainfall over the last 72 hours, has led to rise in water levels of the Krishna in Sangli and Panchganga in Kolhapur, which are flowing well above the danger mark, inundating urban pockets of both districts.

Authorities said that 2.05 lakh citizens across five districts – Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Solapur and Pune – had been moved to safe zones with more than 80,300 citizens in Sangli and 97,100 persons in Kolhapur safely evacuated.

With main milk cooperatives Gokul and Warana stopping procurement operations, the supply of milk in Kolhapur and Sangli cities has been hit, with Mumbai and Pune also likely to face shortages.

Floodwaters entered the Sangli district prison as well, compelling authorities to shift the 370-odd prisoners to the upper floor of the jail.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 6:35:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-floods-many-feared-dead-as-boat-capsizes-in-sangli-village/article28891060.ece

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