Toll in Telangana rains rises to 70, state unveils evacuation plan; parts of Karnataka remain flooded

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced Rs 10,000 as immediate relief to each flood-hit household in Hyderabad. The state government also unveiled a door-to-door evacuation plan as more rains have been forecasted.

FP Staff October 19, 2020 23:28:56 IST
Toll in Telangana rains rises to 70, state unveils evacuation plan; parts of Karnataka remain flooded

People cross a bridge as the Musi river overflows after heavy rainfall in Hyderabad on 18 October. AP

The Telangana government on Monday unveiled a door-to-door evacuation plan in rain-battered Hyderabad as a precautionary measure amidst forecast of more spells of rains.

This, as the toll due to the downpour in parts of the state touched 70, officials said.

The flood situation in neighbouring Karnataka showed no signs of abating as several villages in the severely affected four districts remained submerged. Over 36,000 residents are being shifted to safety.

Telangana CM announces assistance

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced Rs 10,000 as immediate relief to each flood-hit household in the city, lashed by incessant rains since last week, besides assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to those whose houses were completely destroyed and Rs 50,000 for the partially damaged homes.

The assistance would be distributed from Tuesday, the government said.

State Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao said the India Meteorological Department has "warned" of heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms and outlined the government's evacuation strategy for Hyderabad, which had witnessed one of its worst deluges following the recent rains.

"We know exactly which areas would be inundated. We are going to evacuate those colonies. We will go house by house and evacuate them. Thousands of people will be evacuated today, tomorrow and day after," he told reporters.

Rama Rao, son of the chief minister, said 70 people have been killed in rain-related incidents during the past one week in the state and urged those in low-lying areas of the city to move to relief camps in view of forecast of heavy rains for the next two days.

Hyderabad recorded the second-highest rainfall since 1908, following which 37,000 people from low-lying areas have been relocated to relief camps, he said.

According to the minister, a total of 33 people in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and adjoining areas and 37 in districts have lost their lives to the torrential rains that lashed the city.

Rama Rao said the state government was in touch with the Indian Army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to put helicopters on standby in case of any requirement.

Hyderabad, which was battered by floods triggered by an unprecedented rainfall last week, witnessed another spell of showers on Sunday in parts of the city.

To a query, Rama Rao said the state government has sent an interim report to the Central seeking release of Rs 1,380 crore as assistance after pegging the preliminary estimates of losses at over Rs 5,000 crore. The minister said he expected a positive response from the Centre to the state's plea.

"The Union home minister (Amit Shah) has tweeted that they are monitoring the situation. We hope that they will respond positively...we will wait. I am sure they will be positive," he said.

Neighbouring states reach out

Meanwhile, help came from neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for Hyderabad.

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami announced a financial help of Rs 10 crore to Telangana in the wake of the heavy rains and flooding. Writing to his Telangana counterpart, Palaniswami conveyed condolences on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government and people to the families of all those who had lost their lives in the rains and floods.

CM Rao thanked Palaniswami for the gesture.

Andhra Pradesh government sent eight speed boats for rescue and relief operations in the rain-battered Hyderabad. AP State Disaster Response Force personnel and lifejackets were also being sent on the request of the Telangana government, an official release in Amaravati said.

Over 36,000 evacuated in Karnataka

In Karnataka, river Bhima, which is in spate for nearly a week, has wreaked havoc in Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Yadgir and Raichur, which have been experiencing intermittent heavy rains. Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) officials said as many as 97 villages in the four districts have been affected badly and people residing there have been shifted to safety.

"So far we have evacuated 36,290 people. We have opened 174 relief camps where 28,007 people are staying," a KSNDMC  official said.

The Indian Army and the disaster response force personnel are engaged in evacuation, official sources said.

State capital Bengaluru saw heavy downpour since Sunday night, resulting in waterlogging in some places. According to the IMD, the city recorded 39.6 mm rainfall at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-based weather observatory.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is scheduled to take an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas on Wednesday.

Andhra Pradesh CM conducts aerial survey

In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas of Guntur and Krishna districts in the evening. Accompanied by ministers M Sucharita and Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao, he inspected the damage to agriculture and horticulture crops in Nandigama, Avanigadda, Penamaluru, Mylavaram, Tadikonda, Kolluru and other mandals in the two districts.

A flood discharge of over seven lakh cusecs in river Krishna last week left standing crops in thousands of acres in these districts inundated and also marooned hundreds of houses.

Reddy directed authorities to complete enumeration of the losses as early as possible and extend input subsidy to the hapless farmers. Timely distribution of input subsidy would help the farmers in taking up cropping in the Rabi season, he said.

The flood flow in river Krishna decreased to 4.90 lakh cusecs at Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada by Monday evening, but discharges from upstream reservoirs continued to be over five lakh cusecs.

With incessant rain in catchment areas in neighbouring Telangana filling up midstream rivulets like Munneru, the flood at Prakasam Barrage continues to pose a threat to villages, mostly in Guntur district, apart from the habitations on the left bank of the river in Krishna district.

Meanwhile, the state government issued orders for free distribution of essential commodities to families affected by the floods and heavy rains in Krishna, Guntur, West and East Godavari districts.

Families whose houses remained marooned or inundated for a week would be given 25 kg of rice, one kg red gram dal, one kg potatoes and one kg onions, besides a litre of edible oil, according to Revenue (Disaster Management) Principal Secretary V Usharani.

Maharashtra CM, Fadnavis visit flood-affected areas

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis too began their tours of the flood-hit areas of Marathwada and western Maharashtra on Monday to take stock of the damage caused after heavy rains.

Thackeray, along with Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, reached Akkalkot tehsil in Solapur district in the morning. After reviewing the damage in Solapur's Sangvi village, the chief minister assured all help to locals.

He told the villagers that he had come to review the situation and assured all help. "Don't get dejected, and take care," he said.


Toll in Telangana rains rises to 70 state unveils evacuation plan parts of Karnataka remain flooded

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray toured flood-hit areas of the state. Image credits: Twitter @micnewdelhi

Meanwhile, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the rain-affected areas around Baramati and in Daund tehsil of Pune district and demanded that the chief minister announce a relief package immediately.

Fadnavis went to some farms and took stock of the damage caused due to the heavy rains. He said the state government should provide immediate help to the affected farmers instead of getting into procedures like "conducting panchnama" (assessment).

He also said that the Centre is ready to help, but the state government should not shrug off its primary responsibility of helping the affected farmers.

"When I was chief minister last year and the state experienced floods, I announced a package of Rs 10,000 crore without waiting for the Centre's funds," Fadnavis said.

"We had also issued an order to take photos on mobile phone of the damage incurred as panchnama or proof of losses. The state government has to take responsibility," he said.

After touring some flood-affected villages in Solapur, 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.

As per official information, till Friday, as many as 40,036 people were shifted to safer places in four districts, including over 32,500 in Solapur and over 6,000 in Pune.

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 Fadnavis' comment 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) and floods in east Vidarbha (in August end and September).

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who is on a tour of the Marathwada region to review the flood situation, too said that a state government cannot do anything by itself in a crisis of such magnitude

"The state has no option but to take loan to help the flood-affected people. The state is facing a historic economic crisis. I will meet the chief minister to discuss the issue," Pawar said.

Osmanabad, Latur, Solpaur, Nanded and Pandharpur (in Solapur) were among the worst-affected places, the former Union agriculture minister said, adding that crops like soyabean, cotton and sugarcane were damaged.

He said farmers were facing problems with conditions (imposed by banks) for availing crop loan, and land was also destroyed due to floods. The soil of farms got washed away and even wells, pipelines and houses suffered damages due to the heavy rains, he said.

Thackeray 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.

With inputs from PTI

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