Not a package CM, I believe in announcing relief: Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray visits flood-hit Kolhapur, meets Fadnavis

Underlining that he was not a “package Chief Minister,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said there was a need to come up with a long-term solution to tackle the recurring flood situation in districts like Kolhapur and Sangli.

“I am not a package chief minister… I believe in announcing relief,” the chief minister said during his tour of flood-affected Kolhapur district on Friday. He reiterated that flood relief will be announced after reviewing the situation in all affected districts.

In response, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was also in Kolhapur on Friday, said, “Whether it is a package or relief, the chief minister should make the announcement.”

Thackeray also met Fadnavis on Friday and the two leaders had a brief chat. “Since he (Fadnavis) was in Kolhapur, I requested him for a meeting to discuss the situation and take his suggestions,” the CM said at a press conference later.

“To tackle the recurring flood situation in these districts, we need to take strong steps. Among the various reasons behind the flood situation are illegal constructions on the river bed. I have already given instructions to the district collectors to ensure that such constructions do not take place on the riverbed, otherwise we should not have blue lines and red lines…we will have to find a permanent solution to this problem,” said Thackeray.

Regarding construction of retaining walls along rivers which often tend to overflow in Kolhapur, Sangli and other flood-prone districts, the CM said, “I had spoken about the idea of constructing the wall along the rivers. But there are going to be differences about whether such walls should be constructed or not, and then we can’t move forward. When such flood situations appear, we appoint committees and call for reports. But we do not show the courage to implement them. So far, committees like Wadnere and Gadgil had submitted their reports… the findings of these committees should be placed before the people,” he said.

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