Maharashtra floods: On-ground R&R hampered by VIP visits, say Pawar

Announces Rs 2.5 crore assistance through NCP Welfare Fund

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | July 27, 2021 | Mumbai


#Maharashtra   #disaster   #rains   #floods   #NCP   #Sharad Pawar  
NCP chief Sharad Pawar at the press confrence in Mumbai on Tuesday
NCP chief Sharad Pawar at the press confrence in Mumbai on Tuesday


Nationalist Congress Party president and senior leader Sharad Pawar has appealed to political leaders in the state not to visit the flood ravaged areas of Maharashtra as it diverts attention of those engaged in relief and rehabilitation to VIP arrangements and hampers work.

The death toll in the rain-related incidents in Maharashtra rose to 192 on Monday after the recovery of 28 more bodies, most of them in Raigad, the state government said. So far, 2,29,074 persons have been evacuated from the flood and rain-affected affected areas and moved to safer places.

Visits of the chief minister, deputy chief minister, guardian minister and leader of the opposition are useful to reassure the people after a disaster, Pawar told a press conference here Tuesday, but now that the local administration, local organizations and activists are engaged in rehabilitation work it is advisable for those who are in charge to keep in mind that their visits during such a time distracts those working on the ground.
 
"CM, Dy CM and LoP visited flood-affected areas in Maharashtra. I have no objection to it. But my personal experience says that visits by VIPs disrupt rescue and relief operations. People who are not directly linked to relief operations should avoid such visits," he said. With the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on the tour on Tuesday, Pawar said he was confident that Koshyari would get funds and more compensation from the centre to help the flood victims.

On Sunday CM Uddhav Thackeray visited the flood-affected Chiplun and met officials and local representatives to assess extent of damage and ongoing relief operation. Deputy CM and NCP leader Ajit Pawar visited various rain-hit villages in the Sangli district on Monday and used a rescue boat to reach out to flood victims in some areas.
 
Recalling the Latur earthquake of 1993 when he was the chief minister, Pawar said at that time prime minister PV Narasimha Rao wanted to visit the area but he had requested him not to come for ten days as then all systems would have been diverted towards his visit.

“Narasimha Rao listened to me. He toured the state ten days later. I go on tour when there is such a crisis in the state. But this time I have also deliberately avoided going on tour,” he said.

Pawar also announced Rs 2.5 crore assistance through the NCP Welfare Fund to 20,000 flood-affected people with distribution of household kits. He unveiled five ambulances provided by for medical treatment of people in the affected areas. Through the Nationalist Welfare Trust, 20,000 household utensils distributed to 16,000 people, including bedding (Solapuri sheets) to the affected households and 1 lakh Corona prevention masks. Some 20,000 biscuits and toast will be distributed from Britannia Industries. Teams of 250 doctors have arrived with medicines and critically ill patients will be admitted to the hospital. The distribution will be done by NCP Welfare Trust in the next two days.

MP Sunil Tatkare is responsible for Raigad district, MLA Shekhar Nikam is responsible for Ratnagiri, former MLA Sanjay Kadam and  Arvind Sawant for Sindhudurg, minister Balasaheb Patil for Satara, Vikramsinh Patankar, state president Jayant Patil for Sangli district. Party leaders and workers will also help each other at the district level.

Pawar said that the state government will announce a policy for the six districts that  have suffered most damage caused by floods.

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