A Maharashtra Congress delegation led by state chief Balasaheb Thorat met with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday. (Photo: IANS)
Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress on Wednesday led a delegation to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and urged him to expedite relief measures to the flood- affected people in Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara, where 48 lives have been lost so far and half a million people displaced. The delegation also urged the Chief Minister to help the people in Marathwada, which is facing drought-like situation.
In a memorandum to the Chief Minister, the Congress said that rains and floods have wreaked havoc on the farmlands and crops of rice, sugarcane, cashew nuts, mango and other plantations have been destroyed. It sought a complete loan waiver for all farmers in these districts and an aid of Rs 60,000 per hectare to the farmers.
The Congress has asked the government to replace the farm animals like cattle, goat, fowl, etc., killed in the floods. Thousands of farm animals have been reported to have died in the deluge. The Congress had also asked the government to enhance the compensation amount earmarked for the purpose.
"People need urgent food grains, vegetables and clean drinking water for which the government must make arrangements, including augmenting the number of water tankers," Congress President Balasaheb Thorat told Fadnavis.
He said the Insurance Companies must be ordered to clear all claims immediately, and the local authorities must make arrangements to revive all the damaged/destroyed water pumps and electric meters in the farmlands.
"Thousands of homes have been damaged/destroyed, and the state must reconstruct the houses to help rehabilitate them on a top priority basis. School-college students have lost everything in the floodwaters, and the authorities must provide them with all academic materials immediately," Thorat said.
Besides, shopkeepers, commercial establishments and small businesses have borne the brunt of the floods, and they must be extended cash-credits to restart their enterprises with government help.
Since there are apprehensions of an outbreak of the epidemic, the state must provide medicines and medicare free of cost, and also provide additional funds to the local authorities to take up cleaning operations.
"The government has announced an ad hoc amount of Rs 50,000 for villages with a population of 1,500 and Rs 75,000 for villages with higher population. But this is negligible. We have demanded that these figures must be hiked to Rs 150,000 and Rs 200,000, respectively," said Thorat.
In sheer contrast to the flood-hit areas, in the neighbouring Marathwada region – Beed, Latur and Osmanabad districts are facing severe drought-like situation with acute water shortage.
"We have asked the state government to immediately declare these districts as drought-hit and take up remedial measures accordingly," Thorat said.
Besides Thorat, the delegation included Leader of Opposition Vijay Waddetiwar, Sachin Sawant, Sharad Ranpise, Muzaffar Hussain, Charulata Tokas, Kamal Vyawahare and other state Congress leaders.
CM Fadnavis, who gave the delegation a patient hearing, assured them that all remedial measures are being taken systematically, and the government has already decided to seek an aid package of Rs 6,800 crore for flood relief from the Centre.
He also assured that there would be no paucity of funds for any work required, and all efforts are underway to mitigate the peoples' sufferings.