Flood fears haunt Kolhapur and western Maharashtra as heavy rains lash region – pune news

Water level of river Krishna at Arjunwad in  Kohlapur district, Maharashtra.

The state government on Thursday sounded a flood alert for Kolhapur district as heavy rains battered western Maharashtra during the past forty eight hours, leading to rising water level of the Panchganga river and water logging in many parts of the district.

The Panchganga river in Kolhapur was flowing well above the alert level mark on Thursday morning following heavy rainfall in the area, district disaster management cell officials informed. The river’s level at the Rajaram Bridge scaled 41.7 feet which is more than two feet above the alert level of 39 feet while the danger level is at 43 feet.

At the same time, water level of Krishna river, in which Panchaganga merges at Shirole village, has also started rising.

According to the highway control, as many as nine state highways and 25 other roads in the district have been affected as a result and traffic has been diverted via safe routes.

Given the grave situation, district collector Daulat Desai appealed to people living on the river banks to immediately move to safer places. “Since the rains stopped on Thursday morning, the water level of the river is expected to remain steady. We have shifted people and livestock from villages including Chikhli and Ambewadi, which are flood-prone, to safer places. We are prepared to handle any situation,” he said.

Kolhapur’s Guardian Minister Satej Patil assessed the situation and directed the administration to remain alert and prepared for any flood-like situation in the district.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed four teams in Kolhapur district as a precautionary measure.

Neighbouring Sangli district also witnessed heavy rains during the past forty eight hours following which the district administration has appealed to the residents living on the banks of the Krishna, Warna and Koyna rivers to remain in a state of alert citing rising water levels in the rivers.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very rainfall in Kolhapur and surrounding regions throughout Thursday. Kolhapur has received an average daily rainfall of 150 mm in the past 24 hours, which led to increase in the river water levels in the district.

Unprecedented rains on August 6 last year had wreaked havoc in western Maharashtra, especially in Kolhapur and Sangli districts, leaving at least 60 people dead while thousands of animals were flown away in flooded rivers and there were serious losses to property. The flood situation that lasted for four days due to incessant rainfall had cut of Mumbai-Bangaluru highway.

This year, many parts of Maharashtra are facing severe waterlogging and flood-like situation following incessant rainfall over the past several days.

Relief and rehabilitation minister Vijay Wadettiwar said on Thursday that 16 NDRF teams have been deployed in several parts of the state in the wake of heavy rainfall.

“The state government has deployed 16 teams of NDRF in various parts of state in the wake of heavy rainfall over the last two days. Five of them have been deployed in Mumbai, four in Kolhapur and two in Sangli. Punchganga is nearing its danger level in Kolhapur. The local authorities have been put on alert,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday assured all possible support to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray regarding the situation prevailing in Mumbai and surrounding areas due to heavy rainfall.

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