Thackeray announces Rs 10,000 cr aid for Maha flood victims

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Mumbai, (Asian independent) The Maharashtra government on Friday announced an immediate relief package of Rs 10,000 crore for the victims of the recent floods that hit large parts of western Maharashtra and Marathwada, claiming around 50 lives.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the amount will be disbursed by Diwali to provide succour to the flood-hit people ahead of the festival season.

Of the total package, Rs 5,500 crore will be for agriculture purposes, Rs 2,635 crore for rebuilding/repairing roads and bridges, Rs 1,000 crore for rural roads and water supply, Rs 300 crore for urban development, Rs 239 crore for power utilities and Rs 102 crore for water resources.

The CM also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into the pending dues of the state on various counts.

“The Centre has to pay Rs 38,000 crore to the state government… If they had cleared the amount, we would not have faced difficulties in announcing the relief package,” Thackeray pointed out.

He called upon the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party not to indulge in politics over relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims.

“I don’t want to discuss politics… Whatever I have to, I shall speak as Shiv Sena President at the Dassehra Rally,” Thackeray said.

Ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress have welcomed the relief package and said it would help the distressed farmers and others battered by the recent unprecedented heavy rains and the resultant floods in several districts.

Sena leader Kishore Tiwari lauded the package and said that the Centre must now be magnanimous and immediately release a Rs 50,000-crore package for the flood victims.

State NCP President and Minister Jayant Patil welcomed the package saying it will help the affected people rebuild their lives after the mega-tragedy.

Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, who is also the state Congress chief, said that the MVA government stands firmly behind the farmers in this time of crisis and the aid package will help them stand on their feet again.

“The government will give compensation of Rs 10,000/hectare to rain-fed and irrigated lands for the damage, and will cover losses in upto two hectares. Horticulture farmers will get Rs 25,000/hectare which would help them recover from the losses,” he said.

Slamming the Centre, he said that “no Central team has arrived to survey the flood-hit areas” even after so many days since the tragedy which claimed around 50 lives so far.

“The Covid outbreak has already posed a major financial challenge before the state… Rs 38,000 crore is pending with the centre. Even in such a critical situation, the MVA government has announced the huge relief package,” Thorat added.

Presided over by Thackeray, the meeting was attended by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar on videoconference as he is home quarantine in Pune, Thorat, Water Resources Minister Patil, Soil & Water Conservation Minister Shankarrao Gadakh-Patil, Relief & Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar and other senior officials.