Expressing concern over the monsoon fury in Maharashtra, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has written a letter to the state's Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and others suggesting the state to take up the ambitious project of formation of a State Water Grid on the lines of the National Power Grid and Highway Grid. This would help in preventing the floods that occur in Maharashtra every year causing loss of lives and property
Explaining the idea, Gadkari said that the grid could divert the floodwater from one river basin to another in the drought-prone areas of the state.
"I am writing this letter to draw your attention toward the serious issue of heavy loss of lives and property that occur in the state of Maharashtra every year due to floods. The floods create and trigger serious problems in different parts of the state and there is an urgent need to chalk out a plan to manage this natural disaster that becomes grave because of other man-made factors," Gadkari said in the letter dated October 14.
Further listing the benefits, Gadkari mentioned that the areas with a shortage of water, scanty of rainfall can get relief by the grid and added that this would also help increase the irrigation significantly and decline in the number of suicides of farmers. He added that fishing and other businesses can flourish alongside and major employment can be generated if such a project is taken up as essential infrastructure.
"Through you, the Maharashtra government is requested to take initiative for preparations of the DPR (detailed project report) for the formation of a State Water Grid to overcome the recurring crisis of the floods. This would help the government to ensure the availability of the water in drought-prone areas and save the resources to manage the flood crisis," Gadkari said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and assured Centre’s support in the ongoing rescue and relief work. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi apprised about his conversation with CM Uddhav Thackeray and assured solidarity with people of Karnataka who are affected by the floods.
Spoke to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray Ji regarding the situation arising due to flooding and heavy rain in parts of the state. My thoughts and prayers are with those sisters and brothers affected. Reiterated Centre’s support in the ongoing rescue and relief work. @OfficeofUT— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 16, 2020
Heavy rains and floods have claimed at least 47 lives in Maharashtra's Pune, Aurangabad and Konkan divisions in the last three days while crops on lakhs of hectares were damaged extensively, officials said.
Meanwhile, over 2,300 houses were damaged in heavy rains and floods in Western Maharashtra where more than 21,000 people were moved to safer places, as per the Pune Divisional Commissioner's office. "14 people died in Solapur, 9 in Sangli, 4 in Pune and 1 in Satara," said an official.
Crops such as sugarcane, soybean, vegetables, rice, pomegranate and cotton, spread over 57,000 hectares in Pune, Solapur, Satara and Sangli districts, have suffered damage.
(with inputs from ANI)