Flood relief ops continue in Sangli, Kolhapur

(DH Photo)

With let up in rains, the water levels have receded in Sangli and Kolhapur districts of Maharashtra but a massive multi-pronged operation is underway to prevent outbreak of water-borne diseases in the flood-affected areas.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the control room at Mantralaya, the state secretariat in Mumbai, to oversee the flood relief operations.

Top officials, including chief secretary Ajoy Mehta, were present. 

Close to 5 lakh people from the two districts are staying in camps. Nearly 35 persons have lost their lives in the floods in Western Maharashtra and Konkan regions of the state in the worst-ever floods in recent times.

Nearly 100 medical teams are working in the two worst-affected districts,  where the week-long flood situation has completely paralysed normal life.

As many as one lakh chlorine tablets are being distributed for water purification.  "Medicines to treat snakebites, leptospirosis have been sent. Doxycycline antibiotic tablets are also there in huge stocks," health minister Eknath Shinde said.

Reports indicated that massive cleaning operations were underway and the district administration, municipal bodies and local self-governments have been authorised to requisitioned additional manpower.

"Now that water levels have come down slush, has to be removed and tanks have to be cleaned," a senior government official said.

There were also emotional scenes in villages, as women tied rakhis on the wrists of rescue team members. "Heartwarming scenes witnessed in village Rajapur, Kolhapur as ladies tied rakhi to their Indian Navy brothers for fulfilling their dharma by protecting them when all hope seemed lost," a Navy spokesperson wrote, posting four photos on social media.

Another video shows a woman who was brought to safety by the rescue teams thanking them by touching their feet.

Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Belagavi (Karnataka) and Kolhapur and Sangli (Maharashtra). Shah and Defence minister Rajnath Singh are in touch with Fadnavis and his Karnataka counterpart BS Yediyurappa. 

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