Cyclone Tauktae: Uddhav hopes Modi will stand by Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray  

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a sensitive man, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday expressed hope that the PM would stand by Maharashtra while stressing that the State government would do everything it could to provide succour to the populace of Cyclone Tauktae-ravaged Konkan.

The Chief Minister said that he did not believe in announcing ad hoc packages and that a relief package would be announced over the next few days once a comprehensive assessment had been carried out in the affected areas.

Mr. Thackeray was on a day-long tour to assess damage in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. “Today, I have only come to console those afflicted by the cyclone…while we have already begun giving relief as per the Central guidelines, we will announce a package once the panchnamas of the exact damage caused by Cyclone Tauktae is completed. This is expected in the next couple of days…all help will be provided, no one will be deprived,” the Chief Minister said.

While saying that the State government would demand maximum help from the Centre, Mr. Thackeray urged the Prime Minister to revise the State Disaster Response Fund and National Disaster Response Fund norms as they were “outdated”.

The cyclone hit five taluks in the Konkan particularly hard, while destroying more than 3,000 hectares of mango, cashew and coconut orchards in these districts besides other fruits and crops. Other than causing extensive damage to property, including hundreds of zilla parishad buildings and local schools, the cyclone disrupted power supply in more than 1,200 villages.

Highlighting the frequent recurrences of cyclones in the last few years. Mr. Thackeray underscored the need for creating permanent facilities along coastlines to mitigate the destruction caused by them.

“We have conveyed to the Prime Minister that we [Maharashtra] expects a big package… The PM is a sensitive person, and we hope he will not leave the State in a lurch. The help should be increased. I do not want to politicise the relief issue,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s brief visit drew criticism from the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar mocking Mr. Thackeray’s three-hour tour and comparing it to a veritable cyclone.

“The Chief Minister might have taken the review at the Mantralaya in Mumbai itself…Instead of holding a review meet at pandals erected at landing zones here, he ought to have visited the afflicted fishermen, fruit growers, farmers, and people of the Konkan. His ‘cyclonic visit’ has deeply hurt the populace here,” said Mr. Darekar, who himself is on a tour of the region.

Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, taking a jibe at the Chief Minister’s visit, said that the BJP believed in acting and not talking.

“We don’t talk, we Act! A common issue that people told us during our interaction in Konkan was that they’re deprived of roofs due to Cyclone Tauktae and that’s their immediate need. So, we BJP leaders arranged it & started providing from today itself,” Mr. Fadnavis said on Twitter.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 9:25:10 AM |

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