State floods: Rs 6,813-crore relief okayed
Konkan, Sangli and Satara to get Rs 4,708 crore, while Nashik and other affected districts will get Rs 2,105 crore
The state Cabinet has announced a R6813-crore relief and rehabilitation package for the flood-affected regions of Maharashtra. The government has decided to dip into the state disaster management fund to kick-start the relief work immediately and recover the amount from the Centre.
The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also announced the plan to set up an expert committee that will study the cause of flooding and recommend mitigation measures to avoid such a calamity in future.
"This year's rain was unprecedented — more than three times the highest rainfall the region received in 2005. We need to have a plan in place to avoid flooding in case we get 700 per cent rainfall in four days. An expert panel will be appointed soon to study the flooding patterns and recommend measures to prevent any similar eventualities," Fadnavis said at a press briefing.
A A flooded region in Kolhapur district following incessant rainfall. Pic/PTI
The CM said factors such as illegal construction near rivers, flooding of villages and blocked highways were also discussed at the meeting. "I have discussed the issue with Union minister Nitin Gadkari to ensure that flyovers are built at low-lying areas and rivers. We will also ensure that alternative routes of rivers are created, and people living in flood-prone areas are shifted to safer places," he added.
Fadnavis said the government has sent a memorandum to the central government seeking the fund. "Since it will take some time for the Centre's approval, we will use the money from the state's disaster management fund. The memorandum can be amended further, if required," he said.
The relief and rehabilitation plan has been split into two packages. An amount of Rs 4,708 crore would be allocated for Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts and the remaining Rs 2,105 crore would be used for Konkan region, Nashik and rest of the affected districts.
The Fadnavis government has planned to allocate funds for compensation to the families of the deceased and other victims, for crop damages and loss of livestock, for assistance like food, medicine and clothing to people staying at shelter camps, for relief works, cleaning of flood-affected areas, for repairs of damaged houses, roads, bridges, and schools, for irrigation and water resources department works, for health-related and water supply schemes, for fishermen. In a first, the Fadnavis government has also planned to allocate funds to compensate small traders who have suffered loss due to flooding.
A cabinet subcommittee chaired by the CM will take decisions in this regard.
CM postpones Yatra
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he has indefinitely postponed the second leg of Maha Janadesh Yatra, the public outreach programme, which was scheduled to start from August 17. He had suspended the first leg in Vidarbha midway in view of the severe flood situation. Other parties have also suspended their ongoing rallies and are expected to postpone the upcoming programmes.
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