Kolhapur: After eight days of heavy rain, heavy vehicles stranded on the Pune-Bengaluru highway have finally begun to move as the water has begun to recede in the Shiroli Phatak area. However, there are long queues outside petrol pumps due to fuel shortage. Ironically, there is also a shortage of drinking water. Only after fuel tankers reached the city that supplies are now being replenished at petrol pumps. This has led to serpentine queues at these spots.
On the one hand, citizens are lined up with two-wheelers, while on the other line comprises people carrying bottles to fill and quite often, arguments are witnessed between the two groups as fuel supply is erratic. Kolhapur is also witnessing fodder shortage. Farmers are having a hard time feeding their livestock. In Aarlagundi village of Aajra taluka, residents made a beeline for the tractor which had arrived to distribute fodder.
As the flood waters recede, thousands of trucks have slowly begun making their way towards Bengaluru having been stranded from Karad to Kolhapur for over a week. These vehicles are now in demand by the public as a means of being ferried to the other side.
There were an estimated 35,000 vehicles stuck between Satara and Karnataka on the Tawandi Ghat for over a week because of the closure of the Pune-Bengaluru highway. On Sunday, when the situation started to ease, water, petrol and diesel and LPG tankers were dispatched first. Bit by bit, other trucks too are finally on the move.