Maha min mulls migration of villages along river banks to avoid loss due to flooding


Mumbai: Maharashtra Minister for Water Conservation Tanaji Sawant on Monday said the government will mull about migrating the villages situated on river banks that are prone to flooding, to avoid loss of life and property.

“Every time when there are floods, the people living in these villages have to suffer massive loss of life and property. Also, a large scale operation has to be launched by the district administration to rescue the villagers. Therefore, we will have to think about this solution,” Sawant said this in Pandharpur taluka, when he had gone to provide relief materials in Shirdhon village.

The Shiv Sena minister said government policies have been made in accordance with the situation of the past and that there have been major environmental changes since then, therefore, the government policies need to change accordingly.

“This might not be possible in case of cities. However, it can certainly be done in rural areas like these villages on river banks. If new policies are made, keeping in mind the rainfall and floods in the last 30 years, we can ensure minimal losses in cases of natural disasters,” the minister said.

Taking a dig at the Opposition, Sawant also said the BJP and Shiv Sena government has launched the best relief and rehabilitation operation and that the Congress and the NCP was indulging in criticism to score political brownie points.

Responding to his comments, state youth Congress president Satyajeet Tambe said, “this gentleman is a professor who runs an educational institution to provide education to thousands of children. He is also the same minister who had blamed crabs for the cracks in Tiware dam. God save Maharashtra. Wake up youth.”

Advancing a bizarre theory, Sawant had held crabs responsible for the recent dam burst incident in Ratnagiri that had claimed 18 lives. Speaking to media persons the Water Conservation Minister claimed that there were no breaches in the ill-fated Tiware Dam earlier with the reservoir storing water for the past 15 years. “The dam was built in 2004 and there were no breaches ever. However, there is huge problem of crabs in that dam and because of that the recent leakages took place,” Sawant had explained.