Restore electricity, water supply on war footing in rain-ravaged areas: Uddhav

A total of 1,028 villages and 1.94 lakh residents have been affected in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts as heavy rainfall lashed the state since July 22, triggering flood and landslides at several areas.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directed Monday the administration to restore electricity and water supply and carry out road repair works in flood-hit districts on a war footing even as the toll in the large-scale devastation caused by heavy rainfall and flood climbed to 192, with 43 deaths recorded on the day.

A total of 1,028 villages and 1.94 lakh residents have been affected in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts as heavy rainfall lashed the state since July 22, triggering flood and landslides at several areas.

At a meeting to review the situation and assess the damage in the rain-ravaged districts, Thackeray said a flood warning system should be set up in the Konkan area within three months. He also sought a district-wise proposal for the construction of the flood protection walls for the localities or small pockets in villages to avoid a rerun of the disaster in western and coastal Maharashtra.

According to the state government’s report, of the over 190 deaths in the state since June 22, Raigad has taken the brunt of it with 95 deaths so far, followed by 45 in Satara. As many as 25 people were still missing until Monday evening, while 48 others have sustained injuries.

The government said the rescue teams have evacuated 3,75,178 people so far with the highest number of 2,06,619 rescued from Sangli, followed by 1,50,365 from Kolhapur. In all, 1,028 villages have been affected in the state due to the heavy rainfall since July 22.

Currently, 25 rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed while eight NDRF teams have been kept on reserve. Three teams of the armed forces have also been deployed for the rescue operations.

As many as 313 animal deaths have been reported so far in the affected districts, while 28,807 poultry deaths were recorded in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Sindhudurg districts.

On Monday, the Chief Minister was forced to cancel his visit to the flood-affected Koyana Nagar in Satara district due to the bad weather. His helicopter could not land at Koyana Nagar due to poor visibility, officials said. Subsequently, Thackeray returned to Mumbai and held a meeting to review the flood situation and assess the damages caused in the flood-affected districts in the state. It was attended by senior government officials.

“The electricity and water supply in flood-hit areas should be restored immediately. Also, the roads have eroded in many places and bridges have submerged. So, the repair work should be taken up on war footing so that the traffic movement can be brought back to normalcy,” Thackeray said.

Dinesh Waghmare, the secretary of the energy department, informed that in all, the power supply of 9.59 lakh consumers have been affected, of which the electricity of 6.50 lakh consumers has been restored so far. Besides, 14,737 transformers have been damaged, of which 9,500 have been repaired so far, he said.

The water supply schemes in 746 flood-hit villages have been damaged in various parts of the state. Also, the 459 health teams are conducting door-to-door visits at 496 villages to distribute medicines and take care of the people affected by the floods, the CM was told.

Ulhas Debadwar, the secretary of the Public Works Department, said in all, 290 roads needed immediate repairs and that traffic has been stopped on 469 roads. Around 800 small and large bridges have submerged due to the rain. A senior PWD official has been appointed for each region to carry out the survey, he added.

Stating that a flood warning system should be set up in Konkan in three months, Thackeray said a Real-Time Decision Support System (RTDSS) must be activated at the earliest for the 26 river basins in the Konkan region. In the first phase, this system will be implemented by the Water Resources department on seven rivers over the next three months, officials said.

The CM also directed the Relief and Rehabilitation department to submit proposals on setting up State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams in each district on the lines of the NDRF.

On the rehabilitation of the Taliye village, CM said a site should be fixed for their rehabilitation and the plan should be drawn for providing the infrastructure to them. “Such human settlements on the hilly areas and on the slopes are there in rural and urban areas. A plan should be drawn up on how to rehabilitate the people from these settlements,” he added.

Thackeray also instructed that inspection of the damages should be carried out using drones and other latest technology and should be completed in time.

The CM also instructed the administration to prepare detailed factual reports on damage caused due to floods and assistance to be provided to the affected people so that relief can be provided to the affected victims in a timely and prompt manner. “Also, information about the traders and businessmen affected by the floods should be gathered. Then, proposals should be drafted to provide assistance from the state and central schemes,” he added.

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