Maharashtra floods: Receding waters make way for flood relief supplies

With floodwaters receding in Kolhapur and Sangli, the administrations of both the districts in western Maharashtra have now shifted their focus on providing essential supplies to people affected by the torrential rains.

As the rescue operations are over in both the districts, the authorities have started assessing losses to provide monetary assistance accordingly, they told PTI.

The Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway (NH-4), which was waterlogged last week, was partially opened for traffic on Monday after the water receded and slow vehicular movement was being allowed on it, Kolhapur's resident deputy collector Sanjay Shinde informed.

Kolhapur and Sangli districts have been the worst hit following heavy rains that lashed the Konkan and western parts of the state for nine days, leaving 43 people dead.

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"Rescue operations have been completed in Kolhapur. The national highway is open and the traffic is moving slowly. Petrol, diesel and gas supplies have been restored. Work is going on a war-footing to restore electricity and phone connectivity," Shinde informed.

Relief centres have been set up and all efforts are being made to make sure the essential supplies reach the flood-affected people, he further added.

Shinde went on to add that the first phase, which was to rescue and evacuate flood-hit people, is over and the second phase of providing relief material is currently underway. The third phase of conducting an assessment of losses has also been started. "We have also begun the process of distributing monetary relief to the people," he said.

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He also informed that the district authorities will review on Tuesday if rescue teams of the Army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) could be relieved. An NDRF official currently deployed in Kolhapur said that their teams carried fodder for the starving animals in Shirol tehsil in the morning.

Sangli Collector Abhijit Choudhari informed that the rescue operation was completed in his district and they are focusing on providing essential supplies to affected people."Relief material is being provided to people at over 160 camps set up in the district. We are also working on assessing the losses," he said.

"Around 17 villages are marooned. Essential items are being sent there through boats as roads in those areas are in a bad condition," an official at the collectorate in Sangli said, further adding that water is being supplied to flood-hit people after being treated at filtration plants and even water tankers are properly sanitized, in order to keep a check on health hazards. Health camps have been set up at various places in Sangli and till Monday, over 10,000 people went there for check-ups and took medication, she added.

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Even as the floodwaters were receding, major rivers in both Kolhapur and Sangli were still flowing above the danger mark, an official told PTI. The Krishna river's water level at Irwin bridge in Sangli and the Panchganga river's level at Rajaram weir in Kolhapur was reportedly recorded at 47 feet on Tuesday, which was still said to be above the danger mark.