Mumbai, Oct 19 (IANS) In the wake of the massive floods that ravaged parts of western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Konkan region and claimed 48 lives, top state leaders toured some of the worst-hit areas for a spot assessment of the situation.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrived in Solapur along with Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, who is also the state Congress chief.
Besides, Nationalist Congress President Sharad Pawar is already in Marathwada since Sunday, besides a host of other ministers from the MVA government who have fanned out in the region.
While western Maharashtra has reported 29 deaths, Marathwada region had 16 fatalities besides 3 in the coastal Konkan belt in the last week.
Speaking to media persons in Solapur, Thackeray said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to him on Friday on the flood situation.
“The PM has assured us all help in handling the mega-crises… We will not have to make any demands from the Centre,” Thackeray said.
Though refusing to quantify the estimated damage to crops, homes and agricultural lands, Thackeray said it will be clear after the ‘panchnamas’ and field assessment is completed, even as Relief & Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Waddetiwar took the status report from the local officials.
“The situation is indeed grim… A 72-year old man told me that he had never seen such rains in his entire lifetime. The IMD has forecast more rains this week. We have to take all precautions and ensure that human lives are not lost at any cost,” Thackeray said.
On Sunday, Pawar announced that he would lead a delegation of all-party MPs from Maharashtra to Modi and seek immediate assistance for the flood-hit people.
Besides Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis and Leader of Opposition in the Council Pravin Darekar are touring the affected areas of Pune and surrounding regions.
Targeting the government, Fadnavis accused the MVA leadership of giving a “delayed response” to the huge crises in the region.
“Pawar Saheb has to frequently defend the governmenta Only after we (BJP) announced visits the MVA ministers and others went to tour the affected regions,” Fadnavis said.
Responding to the BJP’s criticism that the MVA was looking to the Centre for help but not doing anything in the matter, Pawar shot back saying that former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee never looked at party affiliations “when he appointed me as the head of the Disaster Management Authority owing to my experience in handling the Latur (1993) earthquake.”