Pune Rains: The sound of water scares us now, say affected citizens
Families of the seven people missing wait for safe return of their dear ones; others who lost homes begin rebuilding them
Pune: What followed two days of incessant rainfall and flooding in the city was a sight of death, destruction and despair. Roads lined with sludge, homeless people, hundreds of broken vehicles lying around and families waiting for their missing members was a common picture in the flood-affected Amil Canal, Tangewala Colony, Sinhagad road, Dhanakawdi and other areas.
For the Sangle family, their 26-year-old Victor has not returned home yet. The Chartered Accountant was driving towards Wanowrie around 6 pm on Wednesday night to meet his aunt when his car fell off into a canal near the Shinde Chatri area bridge. Sangle signalled motorists behind him of danger when his car fell into the canal. The incident was captured in the CCTV camera installed on a nearby building. He had also called his cousin claiming that he was drowning. Army personal have been searching for him for two days now, with the family, which includes his brother Major Stefen Sangle, "hoping to see him alive." Sangle's car was found around 11 am on Friday.
Even for the ones who did return to their families safely, home is not the same anymore. Nagesh Malthankar, 19 and his neighbour, somehow managed to reach home at Laxminagar in the Parvati area, but are now struggling with securing their basic requirements. "The public toilet here is choked with sand. We are facing electricity and water cut too. The women in our area are travelling several kilometres to use a public toilet," said the second-year BCom student who has lost the notes he had prepared for his upcoming semester examination.
Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram visits affected areas
An Amil Canal resident Shripati Shinde, 51, had his house damaged in the floods. "We are shattered. A local builder sold us these plot in 2000 but we have been facing water-logging every year since then. That's when we realised that there was some fraud with the land dealing. The land falls under the green belt. We have lost so many of our dear ones in the last two days that it has numbed us. Even the sound of running water scares me now."
Locals protested when Pune Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil visited the Amil Canal area
The death toll by Friday had reached 18 with seven people still reported missing. Pune Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil, who visited the Amil Canal area, was confronted by angry locals and had to turn back.
In the Tangewala colony here, around six people died on Wednesday after a wall collapsed on them. Guardian Minister Patil visited the house where agitated locals and a few Opposition party members protested and shouted anti-government slogans. "With the code of conduct in place, I cannot speak of the monetary compensation being granted to the affected but I assure that I am following up personally with all officials concerned," Patil said.
MP Supriya Sule, under whose jurisdiction the affected Sinhagad road falls, could not visit the spot since she is down with dengue. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, MP Ramdas Atawale, Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe among others inspected the area on Friday.
Victor Sangle's family is hoping for him to return home safely
The worst-affected areas of Purandhar and Khed Shivapur were inspected by Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram. "An NDRF team is deployed for rescue and search operations. Our team is carrying our panchanamas and we are giving Rs 15,000 to each affected family at the moment. We have written to the National Election Commission for allowing more funds. Group of one district officer with four staffers have been formed to inspect, carry out panchanama of 50 houses each," he explained.
No. of four-wheelers washed away
No. of two-wheelers washed away
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