As Maha floodwaters recede, 213 dead, over 53K homeless

Mumbai, July 28 (IANS) With the floodwaters in western and coastal Maharashtra gradually draining out after a week, the toll climbed up to 213 on Wednesday, with 53,295 people rendered homeless and living in 349 relief camps, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) said.
At least 8 people are still reported missing, and 52 people are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Mumbai and the districts, said the SDMA.
Facing the daunting task of rehabilitating the people in the flood-hit areas, the state government said that emergency relief operations have been initiated as per the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
The state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided that since the floodwaters have not yet receded in many areas, the decision on providing additional relief shall be taken in a fortnight.
Meanwhile, the survey and panchnamas of the destruction in all the areas has been taken up on priority, and emergency assistance by way of household items, clothes, utensils, etc is being rushed to the people.
As many as 435,879 have been evacuated and relocated to safer areas after their homes were badly damaged or totally washed away in the flood waters, which reached up to 20 feet high in some areas, with 1,351 villages directly affected by the rain fury.
The largest evacuation took place from western Maharashtra districts – Sangli (211,808), Kolhapur (162,564), Satara (49,149), Pune (402), followed by Konkan districts – Thane (6,930), Sindhudurg (1,271), Ratnagiri (1,200), and Raigad (2,555), the SDMA said.
Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar have said that thousands of homes, roads and huge agricultural lands have been destroyed.
Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde announced the battered Chiplun town, an important tourist destination, will be fully redeveloped in a planned manner.
A total of 16 NDRF teams, down from 33 on Monday, plus 131 boats and 3 Indian Army teams still remain in the field, helping out the flood-hit people, and even animals, wherever possible.
In the past 7 days since July 22, many parts of the western and coastal regions witnessed unprecedented record rainfall, resulting in over a dozen hillslides and landslips in different districts with a huge human toll, before the rains eased by Monday.
With a majority of the big and small rivers, dams, reservoirs, lakes overfull and spilling out the excess waters, villages, towns and cities were flooded and scores of roads – 43 in Ratnagiri alone – in the regions are still closed for inter-district and inter-state vehicular movement, crippling movement of fuel, food and other essential supplies.

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