Pune rains: Businessmen, farmers stare at huge losses
Floodwater sweeps away belongings and crops, damages nursery; tehsildar says compensation to be disbursed soon
Saswad: Even as last week's deluge brings stories of devastation, places across Pune district continue to reel under its aftermath. Sixty-five-year-old Bharat Nana Kshirasagar, whose bungalow and Sai Krupa hotel in Narayangoan have been completely damaged by rain, struggles to make ends meet. Floodwaters have swept away the belongings of his 12-member family and all the furniture at his hotel, which is located adjacent to his house, too. "It seems we have to start from scratch again," he told mid-day despondently.
"I have never witnessed such rainfall. It damaged our house and swept away all our belongings. Of the nine refrigerators that my hotel has, only one is working." He added, "My grandchildren have to go to school from Monday but all their uniforms and bags went away in the flood waters. We have to start our journey again from rags. It took us three days to clean the house. We still go out in search of our belongings. I found some of my hotel chairs two kilometers away and brought back those which could be used."
Bharat Nana Kshirsagar at his Sai Krupa Hotel in Narayangaon
Not only have villagers lost their cattle to the floods, small-time businessmen have suffered huge losses as well. One such nursery owner from Saswad village, Dattatray Trimbak Borkar faced a R10 lakh loss as an overflowing Karha river swept away the entire set up. Speaking to mid-day, Pawan Yadav, son of Nageshwar Yadav, who was running Shreenath nursery, said, "When it was raining on Wednesday, five workers were there at the nursery. When I reached the spot, the nursery was in a horrifying condition. I thank god that nothing happened to the workers. Except for a few saplings, the entire 10,000 square feet plot has been damaged. The problem is that now we will have to convince farmers who had done prior bookings of saplings." He further said that saplings worth R6 lakh, which the owner had recently bought from Andhra Pradesh, had been damaged. As there is no hope of setting up the nursery again, the workers have been sent back to their villages.
For the past four days, 45 houses in Bhorawake mala village have no electricity supply. Speaking to mid-day, local resident Mangal Balashaheb Girme, 58, said, "While we were sleeping on Wednesday, some of our relatives knocked on our door around 11.30 pm to alert us about the floods. Until then we were not aware that water had started filling in. We immediately alerted our neighbours. Two wells in our area are completely filled with rainwater and crops have been damaged too. We are living without power for the past four days." She added, "Currently we are drawing water using hand pumps and are travelling to the nearby villages for our drinking water needs."
Sugarcane farmer from Bhivdi, Rahul Chavan said, "Expecting a good monsoon, I had planted sugarcane in the hope of good returns, but now I'm suffering loses. I had also planned to repay my past dues but now again I'm left with huge debts. I even have to spend more money behind this soil as it has turned bitter and is of no use now."
Speaking to mid-day, tehsildar Rupali Sarnobat said, "We have conducted a survey of 385 houses, which includes huts, shanties, cow shelters and others. Based on the damages, compensation will be given to the affected families. Apart from this, for big animals that are missing or have died, a compensation of R25,000 to R30,000 will be given, while for small animals it will be R3,000. The same for roasters and chicken will be R50 per animal. At present, we have received data about 56 big animals and 70 small animals missing or dead."
She further said, "Our team is working on a priority basis to help people who have been left homeless. Today, those without shelter will be given R5,000. In my jurisdiction, bodies of three people who were missing have been found. Each of the families will be given R4 lakh compensation. By next week we will complete our survey on the loss faced by farmers, and soon after the compensation will be given."
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