Mumbai: As the flood situation turned grim in Kolhapur and other neighbouring areas, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called up Karnataka CM B. S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday requesting him to discharge water from the Almatti Dam.
Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and surrounding areas have received very heavy rains in the last five days leading to a flood-like situation in many cities, towns and villages.
Currently in Yavatmal district for his ongoing 'Mahajanadesh Yatra', Fadnavis reviewed the flood situation in the western and southern parts of the state and discussed the issue with Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta.
Fadnavis also spoke to Yediyurappa and requested him to discharge water from the Almatti Dam which can ease the situation in Maharashtra. He has been assured of positive action, said an official from the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
As per the latest status reports, the Panchganga River is flowing above danger levels, while electricity generation had to be stopped temporarily at the overflowing Radhanagari Dam.
Thousands of people in several villages in Shirol, Hatkanangale, Chikhali, Ambewadi have been severely hit besides the historic erstwhile royal city of Kolhapur, and normal life completely paralysed as incessant rains continued on Tuesday.
Two teams of NDRF are coordinating rescue operations, shifting people from marooned areas, while the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard are helping in the efforts with helicopters and expert personnel.
So far, more than 6,000 people have been evacuated from some of the affected regions of Kolhapur and they have been shifted to safer locations.
The state government is airlifting six more teams and navy boats to Kolhapur on Tuesday, while four boats of the NDRF are being dispatched from Pune to Sangli.
The busy Pune-Bengaluru highway has been shut for all traffic as a precautionary measure in view of the torrential rains. Other state and district roads from where incidents of landslide and boulder crashes have been reported have also been shut.
Pune's Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaiskar said that four of the five Western Maharashtra districts - Pune, Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara - have already surpassed more than 100 per cent of the season's rainfall.
However, the fifth district in the division, the parched Solapur has lagged behind, notching up only 78 per cent rain so far. Its main reservoir, the Ujani Dam has collected barely 50 per cent water up to now.
In the past 24 hours, the highest rainfall of 40 cm was recorded in the temple town of Trimbakeshwar (Nashik), followed by the state's popular hill station Mahalabeshwar (Satara) at 38 cm.
Minor landslides and boulder crashes in southeastern parts of the Western Ghats have compelled the Central Railway to cancel or divert several trains bound for South Indian destinations.
According to the IMD Mumbai, the Doppler radars in Mumbai and Goa on the west coast indicate active monsoon conditions prevailing over entire South Konkan to Karnataka coast, South Central Maharashtra, with Kolhapur, Satara showing heavy clouds, and the monsoon will continue in these regions.
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