Crops, houses washed away in flood-hit villages
TNN | Jul 30, 2012, 03.02AM IST
YAVATMAL: Uninterrupted torrential rains for the last three days, followed by flash flood in many villages, including Ghatanji and Arni tehsils of the tribal dominated district of Yavatmal, has rendered many homeless.
Villages like Koli (Khurd), Kapsi (Kopri), Akola Bazar, Borgaon (Punji) and Hivri are some of the worst affected. According to minister for energy, Rajendra Mulak, flood water either washed away or collapsed over 200 houses in Koli (Khurd) and more than 150 houses in Borgaon (Punji).
Power and water supply infrastructure worth over Rs2 crore has been damaged. Fertilisers, food grains and household articles worth lakhs of rupees were washed away in the flood waters. Roads and sewage lines have been damaged beyond repairs. Standing kharif crops has been completely destroyed.
Even as rains are lashing the district, political bosses seem to be engaged in petty one-upmanship. During visits of dignitaries followed by their press briefing, ministers and MLAs from Congress have preferred to keep the ZP office-bearers from NCP at bay. NCP ministers and dignitaries are using the same tactics during official tours to the flood hit areas.
Dignitaries including ministers who have visited these areas include Shivajirao Moghe, Manoharrao Naik, Nitin Raut, Rajendra Mulak, Vishwanath Giriraj, Manikrao Thakre and a host of top bureaucrats and peoples' representatives. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan was flown to Yavatmal but could not proceed to flood hit areas due to bad weather. He was forced to return to Mumbai via Nagpur but assured to return soon. The flood hit villagers are now hoping for his return.
Though announcements have been made to provide financial assistance and other aid to the flood hit, past experiences do not provide a bright picture. Village Koli in Ghatanji tehsil and Hivri in Arni tehsil are classic examples of this apathy and lapses. These villages have been hit by flood for the last 3-4 years. But the demand for constructing retaining walls along the nullahs flowing through these villages has not been met as yet.
Officials are claiming medicines for diarrhoea and other diseases epidemics have reached the affected villages but no sincere attempts are being made to prevent the spread of these diseases. The upsarpanch of Koli, Chandrapraksh Khartade, and police patil, Subhash Daphale, have voiced concern over the possible outbreak of epidemics in Koli and neighbouring villages of Akola Bazar and Borgaon (punji) due to lack of initiative to spray insecticides even after the calamity.
Village Kapsi (Kopri) in Ghatanji tehsil is also one of the most affected villages but, according to the villagers, no bureaucrats have turned up so far to console them.
Speculations rife: In Akola Bazar, one of the flood hit tribals, Ukanda Mahadeo Naitam, died on Friday. It was being rumoured that he died of starvation after the flood. The officials denied it and said he died of heart attack.
No compensation, no retaining wall: According to Bhaurao Sahare (52), a resident of Hivri village, over 400 families in the village are flood hit but half of them are still awaiting the compensation amount. Meanwhile, another villager, Ashok Dahake, said sitting MLA Nilesh Parvekar had assured to allot fund for constructing retaining wall along the nullah a year ago. "The MLA had even instructed the engineers concerned to prepare an estimate and send it for sanction," said Dahake adding that no action was taken later. An agitated old woman from the village even told guardian minister Nitin Raut, who visited the village after the flood, that they did not want any assistance. On the contrary, she demanded construction of the retaining wall on the nullah.
Declare fresh action plan for preventing flood in 153 officially confirmed sensitive villages in the district; setting up independent agency for its effective implementation
Make sitting MLAs responsible for reviewing works
Cleanse river and nullah beds; construct retaining walls
Create awareness among villagers to promote water conservation
Mechanism to promote rainwater harvesting and its utilisation for irrigation
Relocate families under the threat of flood
Adequate financial assistance to farmers to compensate damage to crops and soil due to erosion; benefit of crop insurance to all the flood-hit farmers