Government officials in Maharashtra said on Wednesday that 16 people had died in rain and flood-related incidents in the western part of the state over the last week, PTI reported.
“In Pune region [comprising districts of Pune, Satara, Solapur, Sangli and Kolhapur], so far 1.32 lakh people affected by floods have been evacuated to safer places,” Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar said. He added that over 53,000 people were evacuated in Sangli and over 51,000 in Kolhapur.
In Solapur district, 2,500 people were moved to safer places in Pandharpur town after water discharge from the overflowing Ujani dam increased, Mhaisekar said. In Pune, 1,300 people were rescued. In Satara, the number stands at over 6,000.
“Teams of Army, Navy and National Disaster Response Force are conducting rescue operations in both the districts and six more NDRF teams will be airlifted to Kolhapur by Wednesday evening,” he said. Mhaisekar added that the India Meteorological Department has warned of continuous rain for the next three to four days.
As many as 204 out of 1,234 villages in Kolhapur district have been affected by the rain and flood, Deputy Collector Sanjay Shinde said. “Three hundred and forty two bridges have gone underwater and are closed for vehicles,” he added. “Twenty-nine state highways and 56 roads have also been shut. Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway No 4 and the Kolhapur-Ratnagiri highway.”
All dams in Pune, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts are at full capacity, ANI reported. Excess rainfall has been recorded in Sangli (213% of normal rain), Satara (173%), Pune (166%), and Kolhapur (116%). Solapur has recorded just 78% of normal rainfall.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday increased compensation for those affected due to floods. “Along with all rescue operations in flood-affected areas of Maharashtra using all possible forces and efforts, we’ve also decided to increase compensation from Rs 2,500-Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 for flood-affected persons,” the chief minister tweeted.
He also told reporters in Mumbai that Maharashtra has received 104% of rainfall between June and August, PTI reported. Konkan and Western Maharashtra have received very heavy rains and the flood situation in Kolhapur is critical, he added.
“We realise that Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Konkan region have received very heavy rainfall in recent days,” Fadnavis added. “All guardian ministers of flood-hit districts are monitoring the situation.”
Heavy rain in catchment areas of the Pavana dam in Pune district’s Pimpri Chinchwad forced irrigation department officials to increase water discharged to 9,100 cusecs from Wednesday afternoon. The discharge had been reduced the previous day from 20,000 cusecs to 2,000 cusecs but was later increased to 5,000. Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation officials said that they had already evacuated 8,000 people from low-lying areas near the Pavana river and are keeping tabs on the conditions, The Indian Express reported.
Three people have been killed in rain-related incidents in Karnataka as parts of north and coastal areas and the Malnanda region of Karnataka witnessed heavy downpour, PTI reported.
A woman was killed after a house collapsed in Belagavi city, while a man was swept away in the floods in Dharwad district, unidentified police officers said. Another person was killed on Tuesday in the city after a wall in his home crashed on him.
The Indian Air Force also joined the rescue efforts on Wednesday as three flights, carrying National Disaster Response Force and Navy officials, left for Kolhapur along with relief material, according to ANI.
A holiday was declared for all anganwadis, schools and colleges in the coastal Karnataka districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi on Wednesday in view of the heavy-rain warning and red alert declared by the IMD.