Mumbai: In the wake of the red alert issued by the India Meteorological Department for Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Pune, Kolhapur and Satara from July 29 to August 2, the state government on Thursday directed the divisional commissioners and the concerned district collectors to be prepared for mitigation of disaster, shift people from low-lying areas and especially those residing on hill slopes to safer places and keep in readiness stocks of food packets, drinking water and medicines.
According to the weather bureau, there will be heavy rains for three days continuously in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts in the next four days, while Pune and Satara will have torrential rains for three days.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who visited the flood-hit Sangli and Kolhapur districts, said that the district administration has been asked to be vigilant and take all the possible measures to tackle the monsoon fury. “The weather bureau has predicted a red alert. The administration has been asked to pull up its socks especially after taking into account the damage caused in 11 districts due to incessant rains and floods. Landslides took place where there was tree cover, which is quite unusual. The administration has been asked to relocate people from hilly areas on a priority basis,” he noted.
The government’s directive comes even as 1,043 villages from 11 districts were severely affected in the past few days, with more than four lakh people having been evacuated so far. Nearly 213 people died in these districts.
A senior officer from the disaster management, relief and rehabilitation department told The Free Press Journal, “The district administration has also been asked to keep in the loop the NDRF, SDRF and police personnel, so that they can send their teams in time. Besides, the district collectors have been asked to stay in touch with the water resources department about the possible discharge of water from the adjoining irrigation reservoirs. This is necessary as they can relocate people from areas that may be impacted by this discharge amid incessant rains.”
Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, currently recovering after an angioplasty, tweeted, “Even though Krishna waters have receded and are currently at 40 ft, 30,000 cusecs of water have been discharged from the Koyna dam in Satara district. This has been done so that during heavy rains, the discharge of water can be controlled. If needed, the discharge of water can be increased to 50,000 cusecs.” He further added that the department proposed to store rainwater in Koyna dam in the wake of torrential rains.
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