Mumbai: Addressing a press conference on Monday at the Ambedkar Bhavan, founder and president of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), Prakash Ambedkar, labelled the Maharashtra flood fury, a ‘man-made disaster’. He said that the calamity could have been tackled in a more decent manner had the dam authorities acted responsibly.
The disaster coincided with dam waters overflowing with the Koyna and Almatti dams filled at 100 per cent and the others, Ujani, Khadakvasla, Dhom and Dudhganga were almost full at 90 per cent.
“The dam authorities should have released the waters in July, which would have minimised the flood threat. The overflowing dams increased the flood water levels. There is no accountability since the dam authorities are all government officials,” said Ambedkar. He added, "the water levels have crossed the previous HFL – Highest Flood Level, recorded by the CWC - Central Water Commission."
Amedkar further said the heavy rains and flood alert prediction was given by the India Meteorological Department and the Collector was also notified, yet they failed to take preventive steps.
Ambedkar spoke to the media after his visit to the flood affected areas and also oversaw the relief operations undertaken by his party. He also slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government for raking in publicity over the flood relief supplies by sticking the photographs of the chief minister
Devendra Fadnavis on food grain packets. He also said the helicopter services should have been given to relief workers to evacuate the flood-affected.
“They should have used helicopters for transporting relief workers and sending aid instead of advertising the CM's visit. Sadly, the vehicles carrying rations and relief workers are stranded on the highway since the roads were closed due to heavy floods,” he asserted.
Taking a dig at the Centre, Ambedkar mentioned, Articles 370 and 35a was again a publicity stunt to hog the headlines.