Amid a verbal feud over the relief aid and compensation to flood-hit villages in the state, leader of Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis, on Sunday, in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged him to convene an all-party meeting to deliberate on the grave situation that has left lakhs of people devastated.
Fadnavis, who listed certain recommendations based on his tour of flood-hit areas, stressed the need for a disaster management cell in Konkan region that has borne the brunt of repeated natural calamities, including cyclones.
“A permanent Konkan Disaster Management Unit, which is adequately equipped with manpower, is a must,” said Fadnavis. His demand is important as the coastal districts, comprising Mumbai, Mumbai suburban, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in the last one year have been hit three times by cyclone Nisarga, Tauktae and floods.
Fadnavis has suggested short-term measures like providing financial assistance to people to remove mud and debris that entered into their homes and shops, allowing the submission of mobile-clicked photos of damaged homes as valid proof and speeding up distribution of compensation to families of the deceased.
He also demanded provision of food, clothes and medicines to the affected and priority for healthcare.
As far as long-term measures are concerned, Fadnavis called for a survey by experts to map flood and landslide-prone villages and relocate these villagers, diversion of flood waters from Krishna basin, using canals and tunnels to drought-hit Marathwada districts through Krishna Bhima Stabilisation project. He made a strong case for permanent rehabilitation of affected families in Koyna Nagar.
He also emphasised on the need for immediate compensation to farmers for crop and cattle loss and to pay electricity bills, aid for fishermen and shopkeepers, assistance to rebuild or repair damaged houses with free supply of sand, stones and cement.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )