Central team again in cyclone-ravaged Raigad to monitor progress

Updated: 15 September, 2020 07:36 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

The six-member group paid attention to the ground level difficulties faced by those affected, and also saw the work done post Cyclone Nisarga

The damaged roof of the Doshi Vakil Science and Commerce College in Raigad. It has, however, made arrangements for the Ty BSc exam
The damaged roof of the Doshi Vakil Science and Commerce College in Raigad. It has, however, made arrangements for the Ty BSc exam

A high-powered team from different Central departments visited cyclone-affected Raigad district and inspected the villages and coastal areas on Thursday to assess the extent of damage. This is the second time the team visited the area, after visiting the first time right after the cyclone. They will submit a report of their findings to the Central government soon.

The team comprised Ramesh Ganta, Joint Secretary (Admin and CBT) NDMA/ MHA; R B Kaul, Consultant, Ministry of Finance (Expenditure); NRLK Prasad, director, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority; S S Modi, deputy secretary, Ministry of Rural Development; R P Singh, Ministry of Agriculture, Nagpur and Tushar Vyas, executive engineer, Department of Road (Transport and Highway), Mumbai.

Highly placed government officials informed mid-day that the team took keen interest in understanding the ground level difficulties faced by those affected by the cyclone, and the work done post the damage.

Raigad District Collector Nidhi Choudhary (in green saree) with the Central team which visited cyclone affected areas again on Thursday
Raigad District Collector Nidhi Choudhary (in green saree) with the Central team which visited cyclone affected areas again on Thursday

The team was accompanied by Raigad District Collector Nidhi Choudhary, who appraised them about the damage to horticulture, crops, coast line, school and government buildings, electric poles, transformers etc, due to Cyclone Nisarga and after.

State released R100 crore soon after cyclone

Aditi Tatkare, the guardian minister of Raigad district and state minister, speaking to mid-day said, "I could get an opportunity to discuss the ground situation with the central government team and explained that it is the first time, Maharashtra and Konkan, experienced a cyclone of this intensity, which has affected the people and their source of living adversely."

"We have estimated the losses to be around Rs 373 crore, and immediately a sum of Rs 100 crore was released by the state soon after the cyclone. The state government, on our request, had already increased the amount for damages from R6,000 (for minor damages) as per NDRF norms, to R15,000. The state has increased Rs 1 lakh (for major damage) to Rs 1.50 lakh (Rs 95,000 from NDRF and balance from CM relief fund)," she added.

"Also as per our request, the state government made an additional slab of Rs 25,000 and another of Rs 50,000, which was approved by the Cabinet, for cyclone-affected families entitled to either Rs 5,000, or Rs 25,000 or Rs 50,000, or Rs 1.50 lakh for their damaged houses, depending on the extent of damage," she said.

Tatkare added, "We have made a request to the central team to consider making amendments in the National Disaster Management Act’s (NDMA) compensation figures for cyclone-related damages, hereafter."

She also said an additional Rs 35 crore to Rs 40 crore assistance from the Centre has been sought to redo Zilla Parishad schools and to have homes,set up near the seashores, where around 1,500 to 2,000 people can take shelter during such natural emergencies. She said they were working on converting bus stands into lightweight shelter homes.

On the power disruptions in Raigad district which saw 16,000 electric poles getting uprooted, Tatkare said, "We have shortlisted three places – Uran, Shrivardhan and Murud, in Raigad district - where the electric lines will be laid underground, and this work will be completed within a year. We will gradually decide on other places in the district."

College prepares to hold exams

The University’s TY BSc examination, which could not be held due to the lockdown, will be held on Tuesday as per the order of the Supreme Court of India. The Mangaon Taluka Education Society (MTES) runs a school and junior college and the Doshi Vakil Science and Commerce College, which is all set to hold the TY Bsc practicals and other exams.

Dilip Shet, chairman of MTES said, "We have completed setting up the science practical laboratory, which was completely damaged. Also, 10 computers, as promised by Sharad Pawar, NCP chief during his visit, have been delivered to us, besides financial help from three good Samaritans from Mumbai, settled in the USA - Rohit Mandge, Amruta Yawalkar, Rohan Reddy - who donated over R5 lakh to the school.

Shet added, "We can assure students who come for the university examinations, that they won’t be inconvenienced. We have made every possible arrangement with the limited resources and funds, we could gather."

However, he said they have not received any financial help from the government.

Rs 373cr
Estimated cost of the losses in Raigad

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First Published: 15 September, 2020 07:24 IST

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