25,000 evacuated in Kolhapur, Sangli

first_imgWhile the flood situation due to discharge of excess water from dams improved in Pune city, it remained extremely grim in urban and rural pockets of Kolhapur and Sangli districts in on Tuesday where continuing showers completely threw life and communications out of gear.Authorities said an estimated 25,000 people stranded in Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara were evacuated by locals and disaster management teams, including those of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).Milk supply to these districts will be hit as the Kolhapur District Milk Cooperative, known as Gokul, has decided to shut supply operations on Wednesday in view of the adverse rain and water-logging situation.People in low-lying areas were taken out in boats and shifted to schools run by the civic bodies of these districts even as water began flooding urban pockets of Kolhapur and Sangli. Schools and colleges in these districts remained shut on Tuesday and are likely to remain closed on Wednesday too.Power supply to more than 85,000 consumers in Kolhapur was temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure, said officials from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL).Residents of Gaganbawda, Panhala and Karvir tehsils in Kolhapur were hit hard by the rains.More than 105 earthen dams and other water systems in Kolhapur, including canals, have been submerged by the rising river water levels, while more than 20 bridges in Sangli have gone under water. With the swollen Panchganaga river flowing well above the danger mark at 51 feet, residents and authorities in Kolhapur fear a repeat, or worse, of the 1989 and 2005 floods.Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil in a statement said, “I appeal to the residents of Kolhapur not to panic and cooperate with the district administration in their rescue efforts… NDRF teams are trying to move people to safe zones. A Navy team and an Army column of 80 personnel with four boats are on their way.” He said the situation in Kolhapur was worse than in 1989.“In 2005, the Panchanganga touched 53.5 feet mark. Going by the present situation, it could well exceed that figure…with communications with other districts severed, Sangli and Kolhapur could face an acute milk and fuel crisis if this situation persists for the next 48 hours,” advocate Amit Shinde, a resident of Sangli district, told The Hindu.While water from dams paralysed traffic on national and state highways and internal roads, Kolhapur was completely cut-off from Pune, Bengaluru and the Konkan region.Inter-district trains like those connecting Sangli with Karad (in Satara) were suspended as rail tracks were flooded.Meanwhile, Satara district authorities said the discharge from Koyna dam was increased to 1,19,777 cusecs (cubic foot per second) late in the afternoon, leading to heavy flooding in several talukas.A team of around 25 NDRF jawans was involved in rescue operations alongwith district authorities, especially in the Patan and Karad talukas of Satara.In contrast, the situation seemed slightly better for residents in Pune city, as discharges from major dams were considerably reduced on Tuesday.P.B. Shelar, executive engineer of the Khadakwasla irrigation division, told The Hindu that discharge from the had been brought down to 18,491 cusecs by late afternoon from 45,000 cusecs.Discharge from the Mulshi and Pavana dams too were reduced, easing the flood-like situation in the city’s low-lying areas.On Monday, rising levels of the Mula River had led to some connecting bridges between Pune and the Pimpri-Chinchwad being temporarily shut. However, with the water levels going down today, traffic police opened up six bridges in the Aundh-Baner area.Meanwhile, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram declared a holiday on Wednesday for schools and educational establishments in Bhor, Velhe, Maval and Mulshi talukas of Pune district.last_img

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