Incessant rains in Ratnagiri district’s mountainous areas, illegal constructions along the Vashishti river bed, and water flow from the Kolkewadi dam have conspired to create mayhem in Chiplun’s coastal town.
Here’s what Mr. Imran Alvi had to say about the recent flooding in the Konkan area during our discussion.
“First, if a catastrophe occurred, blame the dam.
They didn’t let the water out of the dam because it was dangerously high. So, low-lying regions like Mahad, Chiplung, and other districts like Kolhapur were severely impacted by floods.
The water level began rising early in the morning when many were still sleeping. The people’s primary concern was to save their lives. So they ran. The folks on the bottom level went up, while the people on the first story went down. Those who resided in row homes or old structured buildings began fleeing to schools, masjids, and temples, as well as other high-rise buildings.
So they survived; some didn’t.
The second phase, rehabilitation, began. What to do when water levels drop? For example, in Chiplun, Muradpur, and Mahad and other low-lying areas where water was up to 10 feet or 15 feet deep, residents couldn’t remove anything. Most of the household items were washed away.
As a result, we began giving them water and food supplies, then clothing and supplies for cleaning (phenyl and wipes, broomsticks, etc.) since they had nothing.
Later with our whole team, we delivered 2500 kg rice every day, sometimes 4000 or 6000 kg. Our volunteers fill the tempo and pack it, 10 kg rice, milk, cookies, drinks, and everything else. The local staff separates it, packages it, delivers it to numerous tiny villages, individually to each home, and reports it.
The team in Bombay is about 30 individuals, and the ground team is around 40-50 people who pack and distribute; therefore, we have over 100 volunteers.
We ship packages to Chiplon, Khed, and Mahad. Big cars cannot travel inside the road; they are not comfortable since muddy items are on the road.
The crimson muck invaded the homes and subsequently onto the roadways. It became sticky after being soaked for a long time. So, if you brake while driving, the vehicle becomes stuck. To distribute these goods to one or two communities at a time, they utilize Tata compact vehicles.
We have put up a team in Mahad, Mr Afzar, my relative there. They gather all the supplies we provide and wrap them individually since we can’t do it all here. So we ship it in bulk from here, and they sort it and send it onward. They know which hamlet has been hit the worst and prioritize it appropriately.”
In collaboration with the state government, the NDRF stated its 33 teams are conducting relief and rescue operations in Mumbai, Thane, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Raigad, Sahara, Sangli, Sindhudurg Nagar, and Kolhapur. More than 25,500 livestock have been engulfed and more than approximately more than 200 people dead.
Several Maharashtra districts, NGOs, people, and institutions have stepped forward to help.