MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said the threat of flooding due to heavy rains still persists and assured his Government will provide assistance to the affected people in whatever way possible. Talking to reporters in Solapur district after touring some flood-affected villages there, Thackeray said he was in constant touch with local authorities since the heavy rains began because of the retreating monsoon last week. Heavy rains and floods last week claimed at least 48 lives in Pune, Aurangabad and Konkan divisions, while crops on lakhs of hectares were damaged.
Thackeray said, “The weather bureau has warned there will be more rains in the coming days. I am here to take stock of the situation and panchnama (assessment) is being done.” “After the crisis is over, we will extend assistance in whatever way possible. I am not making any announcement now,” he said. Earlier in the day, he gave cheques of Rs 4 lakh each to 10 women whose family members died due to the floods, as assistance from the Chief Minister’s relief fund. On the comment of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis that the State Government should stop looking up to the Centre for help, Thackeray asked, “What is wrong in that?”
“The Centre is not a foreign Government. Its job is to look over the country and the states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called me on Friday and assured all assistance from the Centre,” he said. “There is no need to indulge in politics over flood relief and everyone should come together for the State’s welfare,” he said. Thackeray said the State Government had extended assistance during the cyclone Nisarga (in June this year) and floods in east Vidarbha (in August end and September).
He also said he has asked people during his review visit to take care of themselves and instructed the local administration to ensure there is no loss of life. Thackeray further said he will be touring other flood-affected areas of the state in the next two days. He will go to Osmanabad district on Wednesday to ascertain the damage caused by floods there, as per a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.