National

Sharad Pawar urges dignitaries not involved in relief work to avoid visiting flood-hit villages in Maharashtra

NCP chief Sharad Pawar. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday urged leaders and dignitaries not involved in relief and rescue work to avoid ‘calamity tourism’ by visiting flood-hit villages, as it would disturb the administration and volunteers involve in post-disaster relief work.

“Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and guardian minister should be on the ground. Because they take stock of the situation and direct the relief work. Opposition leaders too have visited and I am sure that they have extended support to authorities. But many people who are not involved in relief work travel for no reason. This disturbs district authority and hampers ongoing work,” said Mr. Pawar, addressing a press conference here.

Mr. Pawar’s statement comes on a day when Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari travelled to flood-affected Konkan region, along with suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ashish Shelar.

“Perhaps, his visit would result in more funds from the Centre. But it should stop now. I appeal to those not involved in relief and rescue work not to travel to flood-hit areas,” he said.

When asked about the Governor being accompanied by Mr. Shelar and not any government representative, the NCP chief said that the Governor must have chosen someone whom he trusted. He recalled the incident from 1993 when Latur district’s Killari village was ravaged by earthquake.

“When the then Prime Minister P.V. Narsimha Rao decided to visit the village, I asked him not to come for 10 days. I told him that his visit will distract the administration from relief work. He agreed and did not visit,” said Mr. Pawar.

Earlier, Mr. Pawar announced relief material would be sent to the flood-affected districts in Konkan and western Maharashtra from Rashtravadi Welfare Trust.

“We are sending 16,000 kits of kitchen utensils and bedsheets. Also, our medical teams will be going there and medicines for cough, cold, fever and flu will be sent through Jagannath Shinde, who heads All India Chemists Association,” said Mr. Pawar, adding that the entire exercise would be completed in the next two to three days.

When asked about the Opposition BJP’s allegation that the State government failed to provide relief material, Mr. Pawar said that when people were trapped in floods, the priority was to rescue them and take them to safer locations.

“The act of sending relief material is the next step. The priority is to save lives,” he said.

Referring to BJP leader and Union Minister Narayan Rane’s statement that the BJP was waiting to form the State government, Mr. Pawar said that during such calamities, people expected aid and did not care who was in waiting. “Those in waiting will remain there,” he said.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 7:33:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sharad-pawar-urges-dignitaries-not-involved-in-relief-work-to-avoid-visiting-flood-hit-villages-in-maharashtra/article35555671.ece

Next Story