National Disaster Response Force men rescue people from a flood-hit village
National Disaster Response Force men rescue people from a flood-hit village

Heavy rains have caused flooding and devastation in eastern Vidarbha. Due to the overflow of the Wainganga river, 21 villages from the Brahmapuri tehsil and 4,859 people were affected while 3,159 were evacuated in the Chandrapur district. In addition, the NDRF teams along with the district administration are in the midst of evacuation of 1,700 people.

Already the district administration has started four relief camps where 1,100 persons are staying. According to the Chandrapur district administration, 11622 hectare of cultivation is underwater. The Chandrapur district guardian minister Vijay Wadettiwar, who is the Minister of relief and rehabilitation, in the IAF chopper, conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit area. The food packets and drinking water bottles were dropped in the villages where the evacuation of local residents was underway.

Many districts in east Vidarbha continue to face a flood-like situation after heavy rain in adjoining parts of Madhya Pradesh forced authorities to open the gates of the Chaurai dam in Chhindwara district. Besides, the water discharged from the Gosikhurd dam also entered these villages. Water levels of these two dams are now coming down and this would also improve the situation in the flood-affected areas of Chandrapur.

A total of 148 villages from 14 tehsils in Nagpur, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gondia and Gadchiroli districts were affected. More than 30,000 people have been affected, of which 18,000 have been rescued so far. Rescue operations are continuing further.

Bhandara city has been one of the worst affected in east Vidarbha and teams of the NDRF, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and local administration are shifting flood-hit people to safer places, said the district disaster management officer Abhishek Namdas.

"In the last two days, 2,830 people have been rescued from Bhandara city," he said. Flood water is now receding, but rescue operations are still underway, he added.

In Chandrapur, 500 people have been evacuated in the last day from the flooded Ladaj village, which is surrounded by a river on two sides, district disaster management officer Jitesh Survade said.

Rescue operations are continuing on in six villages of Bramhapuri taluka, with the main focus on Ladaj village which is the worst affected, he said.

In the adjoining Gondia district, over 1,700 persons were affected due to the floods in 50 villages out of which 1,000 persons had been shifted

Meanwhile, the blame game has begun between the opposition and the ruling parties. Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis claimed had the state government held the dialogue with the Madhya Pradesh Government on the opening of the Chaurai dam the present situation could have been averted. He called upon the state administration to conduct panchanamas of the damaged land and provide relief to the flood-hit villages.

On the other hand, Wadettiwar defended the rescue and relief operations saying that heavy rains led to increasing water levels.

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