For 350 worst-affected villages, the priority is cleaning: Maharashtra minister
The government will give priority to cleaning 350 villages worst affected by the floods in Kolhapur and Sangli. Several special teams of clean-up marshals — including from Mumbai — will be dispatched to also remove carcass and waste from these villages. A sum of ₹70 crore has been set aside for the same, said Maharashtra Water Resources and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar. Of the 353 villages, 205 are located in Kolhapur, 101 in Sangli and 47 in Satara, where work will be taken up on war footing . “We will not only dispatch special teams for clean up operations in these areas but also direct them to take up other important tasks. These would include repair of solar pumps, and motors in wells on an immediate basis. The water connection in the affected areas will be restored in less than eight days,” said the minister after a meeting on Thursday to review the damage caused by the floods. The Minister said hundreds of carcasses are being removed daily with the help of Earthmoving Contractors Ltd, a private firm. “Other preventive measures including use of chemicals to ensure no infection spreads in the areas. This work is being undertaken with the help of 30 water suction pumps, four dumpers and 15 tractors,” said an official. Mr. Lonikar said sanitation work in the affected areas will also be taken up under the Swachch Bharat Mission of the Central government. The State will divert over ₹ 5 crore from the central scheme to clean the selected villages, he said. “We will disburse ₹50,000 to villages with population of 1,000 and ₹1,00,000 for villages of population over 1,000 under the Swachch Bharat Mission-Gramin,” he said. The State government has also set aside ₹75 crore for health-related initiatives in affected areas. Another ₹70 crore has been allocated for cleaning, ₹30 crore to compensate for loss of livestock, and ₹27 crore for providing food and medicines.