Uddhav Thackeray visits Raigad, announces Rs 100-cr aid

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By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: June 6, 2020 3:11:39 am

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In his first visit to Raigad, which bore the brunt of Cyclone Nisarga that made landfall at Shrivardhan on June 3, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced Rs 100 crore financial assistance for the district.

This is Uddhav’s first visit to any part of the state after it was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. He had last left Mumbai on March 7 for a visit to Ayodhya.

“The Nisarga cyclone has caused a great damage to the district. But we will have to rebuild it. As an immediate assistance, the government is giving Rs 100 crore to Raigad district,” said Uddhav after visiting Thal village near Alibag to assess the damage. He added that the government will give assistance to other districts based on the extent of the damage they had suffered.

“The government will seek assistance from the Centre after the damage is assessed,” Uddhav said while responding to a question from a mediaperson on whether the state would demand any package from the Centre immediately.

The government on Friday also allocated Rs 1 crore for Raigad and Rs 25 lakh for Ratnagiri districts for clearing of debris and providing meals to people who had been evacuated. “The district administration needs funds to clear trees and debris. This is apart from the Rs 100 crore announced by the CM,” said an official.

Uddhav, meanwhile, held a review meeting with the Raigad district administration and gave ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the family of deceased Dasharath Babu Waghmare, who died after an electric pole fell on him in Alibag.

He thanked the elected representatives and district administration for the handling of the cyclone and minimising the loss of lives. “It may take 8 to 10 days for the inspection of the damage to be completed. But people should click photos or shoot videos of the damage suffered, as these will be considered during inspection,” he said, adding that cleaning of houses and surrounding areas needs to be done on priority to avoid the spread of any disease.

Uddhav said priority will be given to restoring power and telecom connectivity, along with repair of houses. “The government will provide all possible assistance. We will also provide foodgrain and meals to the people whose houses have been impacted,” he added. He further said that all relief work should be undertaken by following social distancing and other Covid-19 guidelines.

Minister for Fisheries Aslam Shaikh, who was part of the delegation that visited Alibag with Uddhav, said that while an assistance of Rs 100 crore has been announced, the situation will be assessed and a special package for fishermen adversely affected by the cyclone may be considered.

Late Friday, Raigad Collector Nidhi Choudhari said, “Cellular connectivity has been restored with the help of all public and private operators. At least one company’s network is functional in all affected parts. Tomorrow, we are sending generators for BSNL network restoration in Srivardhan.”

She added that with this, people with any SIM card can select CellOne by manual selection and BSNL will provide network connectivity. “This will help a lot in restoration of network connectivity.”

Choudhari further said that while in Alibag, electricity had been restored in 60 per cent areas, in Uran and Panvel, power has been restored in 80 per cent of the affected villages. “We are getting additional teams from other districts to restore electricty,” said Choudhari.

Raigad SP Anil Paraskar said that rooftops of at least seven to eight police stations had been blown away. Road connectivity had been restored almost in all parts of the district, including Shrivardhan and Murud, which took most of the battering that Nisarga unleashed.

Minister for Higher and Technical Education and Ratnagiri MLA, Uday Samant, also took stock of the damage. He said that Dapoli had been worse-hit. According to the district administration, 27,782 houses had been damaged, of which about 18,000 were in Dapoli. About 3,200 trees had fallen, 930 electricity polls had collapsed and 57.81 hectares of agricultural land was damaged.

Meanwhile, the CM and NCP chief Sharad Pawar held discussions in the evening at Varsha bungalow in Mumbai on the impact of the cyclone.

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