Stock up on milk, floods hit western Maharashtra

Unrelenting rain in the past five days has led to a flood situation in Western Maharashtra and Konkan region. Water released from dams have added to the woes of the population in the region. Waterlogging, landslides and boulder crashes has prompted the state administration to shut down national and state highways, thus affecting the supply of milk to Mumbai.

Almost all of the 65 lakh pouches of milk that is supplied to Mumbai comes from dairy cooperatives located in Western Maharashtra. Now that the highways have been shut, milk will be in short supply at least for the foreseeable future. Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli are in a dire situation with heavy rains pounding the regions continuously for the past five days.

According to state government officials 61,019 people from 13,996 families have been evacuated from flood-affected districts in the last few days. This figure includes 31,782 people from 6,526 families as well as 9,728 cattle that have been shifted to safer places from Palus, Shirala and Miraj tehsils of Sangli.

There is no power in most areas of Pune, Sangli and Kolhapur with mobile and telephone services also facing disruption from a couple of days. Moreover, electricity supply to 85,523 families in Kolhapur was stopped as a safety measure.

Presently, there are six teams of 160 personnel each from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) engaged in rescue operations in the Western Maharashtra, but the state administration has asked for five more teams to be deployed keeping in view the magnitude of the situation at hand. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Abhay Yavalkar, Director, Disaster Management Unit of the state government said, “We have requested for Army and Navy teams to aid rescue operations in the flood-affected district. By tomorrow, we expect to get additional teams. We have been taking stock of the situation constantly and the district administrations have been directed to be on their toes”.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also spoken to Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yediyurappa and requested him for more discharge from Allmatti dam. Subsequently, the government of Karnataka has discharged 4 lakh cusecs from the dam thereby allowing more outflow from dams in Maharashtra.

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