MP floods: Shivraj joins rescue operations, Cong seeks immediate relief for victims

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MP floods: Shivraj joins rescue operations, Cong seeks immediate relief for victims

Bhopal: With at least three districts of eastern Madhya Pradesh affected by floods after 30 hours of heavy rainfall, Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, apart from carrying out the aerial survey, also led the rescue operations on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Congress has sought immediate relief for the affected people.

The Chief Minister along with disaster relief teams on Wednesday participated in rescue operations after carrying out the aerial survey of the affected areas. He also reached to the people trapped in flood and made announcment through loud speaker in residential colonies in Vidisha.

Chouhan assured the people trapped in flood that things will be alright and the government will compensate for damaged crops and all other losses. “Once the flood is over, a survey would be conducted to assess the loss of properties and crops, and I assure that the government will provide all possible help. Houses that were collapsed or damaged due to rain, will be rebuild by the government,” he announced.

The rainfall relatively relented on Wednesday providing relief to the people, especially in the flood affected areas.

Compensating against the heavy loss after the assessment of damaged crops and properties would definitely put a huge burden on state exchequer, especially at a time when the state is grappling with the financial debt of over three lakh crore.

While Chouhan has been leading the rescue operations from the front and visiting the flood areas, damage to newly build reservoirs, dam and roads have elevated challenges for him as the Congress accused the BJP government of corruption, especially on Karam dam built on the Narmada river in Dhar district.

The Karam dam, which was constructed recently, could not survive for one season rainfall and seepage on its wall had put the lives of over one lakh people in three adjoining districts in danger, however, joint quick action by army personnel and disaster relief teams averted the catastrophe last week.

The Rs 304-crore Karam irrigation project is already under probe and the state government has acknowledged this in the assembly. However, the probe hasn’t progressed much ever since Shivraj Singh Chouhan managed to topple the Congress government in March 2020. The police have booked officials of some companies which were awarded the tenders. Two IT companies carrying out the work have also been blamed.

Contract for the dam was first awarded to a Gujarat-based company, but was cancelled after a scam came to light. A Delhi firm then got the tender. Work began in August 2018. It was to be completed in three years by August 2021 but got delayed.

The Delhi firm hired another firm from Gwalior for a part of the work, and the Gwalior-based firm took this up for Rs 99.86 crore — which was 14 per cent lower than what the Delhi-based firm had quoted to the state government, meaning that the government had overpaid for the work.

With the state assembly elections just 15 months away, Congress is trying to corner the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government with a bundle of corruption allegations.

Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath said on Wednesday that lakhs of people have been affected by the heavy rains in many districts. Farmers’ crops have been ruined, people are homeless and living in relief camps, a large number of houses have been damaged and household and food items have been washed away.

“The government should immediately provide relief to the people affected with flood. The government should immediately start relief work, all possible help should be given to the affected people,” Nath urged.

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