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16 dead in flood-hit Maharashtra, massive rescue efforts on




At least 16 people have been killed, including four in Kolhapur and 12 in Sangli, as rains wreaked havoc in these districts for the past over one week, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Thursday.

Along with his cabinet colleagues Chandrakanat Patil, Girish Mahajan and Eknath Shinde, Fadnavis today made an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged areas which also include Satara and Pune districts.

While four deaths are recorded in Kolhapur due to the rains in the past few days, at least 12 persons on Thursday drowned when a rescue boat capsized in Brahamnal village this morning. Fifteen people were saved and a search is on to trace bodies of others still missing, said Konkan Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaiskar.

Earlier in the day, authorities put out the death toll as 26.

Fadnavis said as per preliminary information, the boat was deployed by the village panchayat to rescue people, but a branch of a submerged tree got entangle in its engine, causing it to lose balance, leading to the tragedy.

He said rescue efforts were continuing on a war footing. Fadnavis said over 10,000 rescue officials from 13 teams of NDRF from Punjab, Gujarat, Odisha, Goa, one State DRF, one column of Indian Army, 14 Navy teams, Coast Guard team and Air Force and local agencies are engaged in rescuing people trapped in the flood waters in the two districts.

Another two Coast Guard teams are on their way to Kolhapur today, five Navy teams and two SDRF teams, while the state has sought five more NDRF teams, Fadnavis said.

“We are reaching out to the people. They should not panic. Wherever helicopters can go, they are being sent and more than 60 boats are deployed in all the affected regions,” Fadnavis said.

The CM said rescue works are hampered as water levels are not receding in most areas, he told mediapersons after the aerial survey.

“I spoke with Home Minister Amit Shah and also Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, and the latter has agreed to release 500,000 cusecs water from the Almatty Dam which will bring relief to waterlogging in Sangli,” Fadnavis said.

He said as per available information, 223 villages are still flooded and 18 villages are completely submerged in the affected areas.

Plus, another around 29,000 people are still marooned in different parts, 9,000 have been rescued so far, and another 97,000 moved out on their own to rescue camps. Around 38,000 flood victims have taken refuge in 152 relief camps set up by the government.

Around 3,900 homes have been damaged or destroyed, over 200,000 people are still without electricity and 390 water supply schemes are shut due to flood, and 67,000 hectares of farmlands have been ravaged, though the complete extent of the damage will be known only after the flood waters recede, he said.

Efforts are also being made to supply petrol-diesel in the affected areas, and if the national highways re-open by Friday, the work will be taken up in consultation with the oil marketing companies.

So far, over 1.35 lakh people have been rescued and shifted to safer locations in the affected regions and thousands more continued to remain marooned without food, drinking water, medicines, electricity, and other essentials.

People were also saved from several government and private hospitals where they were trapped due to water all around.

Fadnavis said medical teams are kept ready in Mumbai and will be dispatched to the affected areas as demanded by the local authorities as incessant rains have submerged large areas of land, fields, villages, towns and cities, hitting both road and rail traffic badly.

Efforts are on to clear the Pune-Bengaluru Highway to enable quicker movement of relief supplies to the regions, he added.

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Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar decided not to visit ED office today



The National Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar on Friday told to media outside his residence that he would not appear to Enforcement Directorate office today.

“I have taken the decision not to go there (ED office) in view of the potential law and order problem it could create and cause inconvenience to the general public. I will decide when to go again at an appropriate date,” Pawar told  to media who have gathered outside his house here.

The 78-year-old veteran leader described the ED case against him as “politically motivated”.

Reportedly, the ED said, Pawar doesn’t have to come, they will call if its needed.

On ED notice Pawar said to media ,“I don’t want to create law and order situation in the state. The decision was taken after deliberating with the party leaders”.

“I don’t want to create law and order situation in the state… The decision was taken after deliberating with the party leaders,

As per report,Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Barve has visited to Pawar’s residence to request him to not step out from his residence.

The Mumbai Police have slapped Prohibitory Orders in at least seven areas ahead of Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar’s suo moto visit to the Enforcement Directorate office here on Friday.

In a late-night order the police have imposed the ban under Section 144 of the CrPC, banning assembly of five or more persons.

OnTuesady, the ED has registered a money laundering case against Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar, and several other politicians and officials in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam worth around Rs 25,000 crore.





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12-yr-old dies after snake bite In New Delhi




A 12-year-old boy died after he was bitten by a snake in east Delhi’s Geeta Colony area, police said on Saturday.

According to a senior police official, the boy has been identified as Deepak Kumar, a resident of Safeda jhuggi cluster in the area.

“The incident took place on Friday night when Deepak was sleeping at his house. He was taken to the Hedgewar hospital by his parents,” said the police official.

“The hospital called us and informed about the incident at around 6.30 a.m. on Saturday morning. A post-mortem was conducted at Sabzi Mandi mortuary and body was handed over to the family,” he said.

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BCCI officials and cricketers pay tribute to Arun Jaitley





Just like the political world, the cricketing fraternity too was saddened by the demise of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (66), who passed away after prolonged illness at the AIIMS here on Saturday.

Not just a political leader of repute, Jaitley also served Indian cricket as BCCI Vice-President and President of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Considered a vital cog in the BJP’s functioning over the years, Jaitley’s untimely passing away saw condolences pouring in from cricketers and officials.

Taking to Twitter, former India opener and now a BJP MP from East Delhi, Gautam Gambhir, wrote: “A father teaches u to speak but a father figure teaches u to talk. A father teaches u to walk but a father figure teaches u to march on. A father gives u a name but a father figure gives u an identity. A part of me is gone with my Father Figure Shri Arun Jaitley Ji. RIP Sir (sic).”

Virender Sehwag also expressed his grief, saying: “Pained at the passing away of #ArunJaitley ji. Apart from having served greatly in public life, he played a huge role in many players from Delhi getting an opportunity to represent India. There was a time when not many players from Delhi got a chance at the highest level but under his leadership at the DDCA, many players including me got a chance to represent India.

“He listened to needs of the players & was a problem solver. Personally shared a very beautiful relationship with him. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & loved ones. Om Shanti (sic).”

V.V.S laxman expressed his thoughts, tweeting: “Saddened to learn about the passing away of Shri #ArunJaitley ji. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and admirers. Om Shanti! (sic).”

Noted news anchor and current DDCA chief Rajat Sharma also paid tribute, writing: “#ArunJaitley , my dear and close friend for 5 decades, is no more. In his passing away, #India has lost an able administrator, a fine jurist and an incorruptible politician. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Om Shanti. @arunjaitley (sic).”

BCCI President C.K. Khanna said: “It is indeed a very sad day for the whole of India as we have lost Arun Jaitleyji to a long and tough battle with health…A truly humble, self-made man who rose to greats heights, and has etched a place for himself in the history of modern India, with his genius, grit, charisma and commitment! It is a deep personal loss for me…Our association goes back to our college days in Shri Ram College Of Commerce where we worked together, he as the President, and me as the General Secretary of the College Union.

“I also had the privilege of inviting and closely working with him in the Cricket Administration in DDCA and BCCI. His contribution in the field of cricket shall be remembered forever…Today the Nation has truly lost a great Statesman and I have personally lost a very dear friend…May his soul find peace. Om Shanti!!”

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