Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday sought the Centre’s help for devising “long-term measures” to mitigate the frequent crises of devastating floods which play havoc in the state.
Touring the flood-ravaged areas of Ratnagiri district – where Chiplun, Khed and other places were the worst-hit, he said that the state would make an assessment of the situation to evolve permanent solutions.
“We shall make an assessment, a realistic study of everything and inform the Centre. We are grateful to the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for their help in this disaster,” Thackeray said.
Moving around the once-picturesque Chiplun tourist destination with several luxury hotels dotting the banks of River Vashishti, Thackeray witnessed the massive flood havoc in the town of 55,000, for the second time after the 2005 great floods.
Accompanied by Ministers Anil Parab, and Uday Samant, MLA Bhaskar Jadhav, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte and other civic and police officials, he interacted with traders, shopkeepers and residents, who had to take refuge on roofs or on top of building tops were marooned for nearly three days amid 15-20 feet water.
Many recounted their plight with tears in their eyes, some others lost control, and a group of agitated townies attempted to ‘gherao’ the CM and his entourage, demanding promised assistance and rehabilitation.
The Chief Minister later undertook a detailed review meeting at a private hotel and took details of the unprecedented disaster, the deaths and missing people, the damage to public and private properties, the type of immediate help and long-term assistance to rebuild the town, etc.
“I will not make any populist announcements right now but make a comprehensive study and then we shall give the compensation, how much help can be asked from the Centre, within a couple of days,” Thackeray told media persons.
However, for the present, he said that Collectors have been directed to provide immediate assistance by way of food, clothes, medicines, and other requirements.
He also directed the administration to avoid technical issues or ‘red tape’ while assisting the flood-hit people of the region, implement a proper flood management system and other precautions to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.
“Rains, floods, and water are not new to the people of Konkan But what happened this time was beyond all imagination. A majority of the people couldn’t save their personal belongings due to the swift rise in water levels as they tried to save their lives,” Thackeray noted.