104 per cent rain so far, situation in Kolhapur critical: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra received 104 per cent of the average rainfall between June and August this year though Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha are rain-deficient, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday. Konkan and Western Maharashtra have received very heavy rains and the flood situation in Kolhapur was critical, he said. Speaking to reporters, Fadnavis, who took a break from his ongoing `Maha Janadesh Yatra' ahead of elections to review the flood situation, announced that compensation for flood- affected persons would be increased from Rs 2,500-5,000 to Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000.

For the loss incurred due to rains and floods after July 26 (when the present spell of heavy showers began) the compensation will be Rs 10,000 per family in rural areas, and Rs 15,000 in urban areas. Post July 26, if the home was flooded for more than two days, or house or household items were washed away, the family would get Rs 10,000 (instead of earlier Rs 5,000) in rural areas and Rs 15,000 in urban areas. The state received 104 per cent of the average rain expected between June and August despite Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha getting scanty showers, he said.

"From this statistics, we realize that Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Konkan region have received very heavy rainfall in recent days," he said. The Almatti dam in Karnataka, situated downstream on the Krishna river which flows through western Maharashtra, is full, and he has requested the chief minister of that state to increase discharge from the dam by 50,000 cusecs, he said. Twenty-two teams of NDRF are involved in rescue operations in Kolhapur and elsewhere, he said.

"All guardian ministers of flood-hit districts are monitoring the situation," Fadnavis added. State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, meanwhile, demanded that the chief minister convene an all-party meeting to discuss the flood situation which has claimed 16 lives in the last one week. At the review meeting held earlier in the day, Fadnavis directed the officials to make adequate arrangements for food, drinking water and other essential items for flood-affected people in Kolhapur, Sangli, Raigad and Palghar districts, a statement from his office said. He also directed immediate survey of crop damage in the flood-affected areas.

Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, water resources minister Girish Mahajan, co-operation minister Subhash Deshmukh, PWD minister Eknath Shinde, environment minister Ramdas Kadam and senior officials were present in the meeting. Collectors of Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune, Satara, Palghar, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts joined the meeting through video-conference. Fadnavis had faced flak from Opposition on Tuesday for carrying on with the Maha Janadesh Yatra, a public outreach campaign, despite rains battering parts of the state.

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