Kolhapur flood: 51,000 people affected, Navy teams deployed for rescue operation
A defence spokesperson said that five rescue teams of the Navy are deployed in order to provide assistance to those affected by heavy rains in Kolhapur and Sangli
Kolhapur: Incessant rains have caused a flood-like situation in western Maharashtra's Kolhapur on Wednesday. Nearly 51,000 people and 200 villages were affected due to heavy downpour. Officials claim that more than 340 bridges had been submerged so far.
A defence spokesperson said that five rescue teams of the Navy have been deployed in order to provide assistance to those affected by heavy rains in Kolhapur and Sangli.
According to news agency PTI report, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has reviewed the flood situation in various parts of the state and instructed concerned authorities to make necessary arrangements like food, drinking water and other essential items for those affected.
"Around 204 villages out of total 1,234 in Kolhapur have been affected due to the floods. Total 11,000 families, comprising nearly 51,000 individuals, are affected and 15,000 people have been shifted to safer places," Kolhapur's resident deputy collector Sanjay Shinde told PTI.
"Besides, 342 bridges have gone underwater and are closed for vehicular movement. Around 29 state highways and 56 main roads have also been shut. The Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway No.4 and the Kolhapur-Ratnagiri highway (part of the Mumbai-Goa national highway) are still shut," he said.
Navy rescue teams provide assistance to people affected by heavy rains in Kolhapur and Sangli. Pic courtesy: Chaitraly Deshmukh
More than 45 boats have been deployed to carry out evacuation operations in the flood-affected areas, he added. Reportedly, Shinde's office was also not spared by the rain fury.
"My office has been completely flooded due to rains and several offices in the collectorate have been shifted to other places," he said. Reports claim that Kolhapur and Sangli have been the worst affected by heavy rains in western Maharashtra in the last few days.
"In response to the state administration's request for assistance to local populace affected by heavy rains in the area, five teams of the Western Naval Command have been mobilised," the defence spokesperson said.
As the rescue operations are underway, four teams of divers from Goa naval area are also deployed in Kolhapur. He said that the rescue teams were flown from INS Hansa Naval air station at Goa on Wednesday morning for Kolhapur airfield.
Rescue teams carrying out evacuation operations in the flood-affected areas of Kolhapur and Sangli. Pic courtesy: Chaitraly Deshmukh
A review meeting was conducted in Mumbai, where the chief minister and several state officials attended. CM Devendra Fadnavis also asked the water resources department to share information regarding water discharge from dams and other projects with railways regularly.
Fadnavis also urged the concerned officials to send medical teams in the affected districts in case of any requirement or demand from the local administration. He further instructed officials to conduct special care of children in flood-hit areas.
The Chief Minister's Office said that teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed to assist the affected people. The Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard are also now engaged in rescue and relief efforts. Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar on Tuesday said the flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli was "critical" as several rivers in the region were flowing above the danger mark.
"Three villages in Kolhapur with 7,000 people have been cut off completely and efforts are on to evacuate them," Mhaisekar said. The administrations of Kolhapur and Sangli have declared a holiday for schools and colleges on Wednesday.
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Rescue operations continue in flood affected Maharashtra