Karnataka and Maharashtra would set up a joint committee to manage floods in the Krishna river basin during the monsoon when heavy rains lash both states, an official said on Thursday.
“The joint committee will monitor and control floods if heavy rain water overflows in the Krishna river basin across the twin states to protect lives and property,” the official told IANS after state water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi met his Maharashtra counterpart Jayant Patil in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The committee will have the state-run Neeravari Nigam chief engineer and its superintendent as members from Karnataka and their counterparts from Maharashtra.
Heavy and widespread monsoon rains in August 2019 resulted in Krishna and Bheema rivers overflowing from Maharashtra and flooding Bagalkot, Vijapura and Belagavi districts, resulting in death and damage in the state’s northwest region.
“The committee will also ensure coordination between the two states to avoid flooding if the rivers and their tributaries turn spate due to heavy rains in their catchment areas,” said the official.
The two ministers also discussed the sharing of the Krishna water during summer and notifications of the Krishna Tribunal award for both the states.
“The states will urge the central government to notify the Krishna Tribunal Award at the earliest for using the upstream river water allocated to them along with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the downstream,” added the official.
Both the states will lead a joint delegation to the Centre after the Covid-19 crisis for gazette notification of the tribunal award.
Bagalakot, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Vijayapura and Yadigiri districts in the state’s Deccan plateau face acute shortage of drinking water as they are in the country’s second most arid region after Rajasthan.
As one of the largest dams in Maharashtra’s south-west region, Koyana reservoir is located across its river at Mahabaleshwar in Satara district, while Ujjani dam is across Bhima, a tributary of Krishna river in Solapur district.
Though the 3-member tribunal, set up in April 1969 under the chairmanship of R.S. Bachawat to adjudicate the Krishna river water utilization among its basin states, gave its final verdict in May 1976, it was challenged by then undivided Andhra Pradesh for more allocation of the water.
As the second biggest river in peninsular India, the 1,300km Krishna river originates near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and enters Karnataka after covering 303km and travels 480km in the southern state to cross into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before joining the Bay of Bengal in the east.
Rains lash Mumbai, landslide at Malabar Hill
Intermittent heavy showers continued to lash Mumbai a day after it was battered and shattered by stormy weather that left a trail of destruction, fallen trees or branches, hundreds of vehicles submerged or broken down, officials said here on Thursday.
Overnight rains were reported from most parts of coastal Maharashtra including Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, besides regions of Western Maharashtra like Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli.
A minor landslide occurred when a portion of a hillock at the posh Malabar Hill crashed down near Pedder Road, but luckily there were no casualties.
The IMD Mumbai said that the Mumbai city received 33.1 cms and the suburbs got around half or 16.2 cms rainfall.
In the past 24 hours, many areas of south Mumbai witnessed their maiden floods, including those which had escaped flooding during the July 26, 2005 Great Floods, when the city recorded a staggering 160 cms rainfall in a 24-hour period.
These include: Churchgate, Colaba, Marine Lines, Marine Drive, parts of the congested Kalbadevi, Dongri, Mohammed Ali Road, Byculla, Mazagaon, Grant Road, Charni Road, Mumbai Central, besides the traditional flood hotspots of Dadar, Parel, Sion, Matunga, Kings Circle, Wadala, Kurla, and several suburban areas.
Locals attribute this to the combined effects of the ongoing Mumbai Metro and Coastal Road works, though officials have not commented on the issue.
The gusty winds of upto 70 kmph on Wednesday uprooted over a hundred trees jamming many roads in south Mumbai, which the civic workers were busy clearing since night.
At least 250 commuters stranded in two trains between Byculla and Masjid Bunder stations on the CR were rescued by police and disaster teams with rubber boats sailing on the flooded tracks.
In some areas in south Mumbai, Kandivali, Dahisar, Kurla, Parel, Dadar, Wadala and Sion, water rushed into ground-floor homes, shops or offices in south Mumbai as incessant rains continued all day, and the subways in Dahisar, Malad and Andheri were flooded preventing east-west movement of traffic.
With thousands of commuters getting stranded, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday threw open around 130 civic schools to enable them spend the night there.
The IMD has forecast heavy to extremely heavy spells of rain in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan area in the next 24 hours.
Amid apprehensions of a 2005-like flood situation, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reviewed the monsoon situation and the state government has kept around 15 NDRF teams in readiness for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur to help in any contingencies.
Heavy rains pound Mumbai, landslide hits road, rail traffic
Heavy overnight rains lashed Mumbai, satellite cities, the suburbs and the coastal North Konkan belt on Tuesday hitting road and rail traffic, officials said here.
Incessant rains since late Monday left Mumbai semi-paralysed as the road traffic and suburban trains were affected due to waterlogged tracks.
Services on sections of suburban sector were halted or crawling on the Western Railway, Central Railway at various locations, while the Harbour Line was paralysed from Kurla to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
The two highways, main roads and arterial roads in many parts of the city were flooded halting road traffic, stranding many vehicles.
There was a huge landslide on a hillock with tonnes of debris falling on the Western Express Highway at Malad, blocking south-bound road traffic with commuters stuck.
Waterlogging was reported from the regular chronic spots of Sion, Kings Circle, Wadala, Dadar, Kurla, Mulund, Borivali, besides subways at Andheri, Kandivali and Dahisar.
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has deployed water pumps to flush out the excess flood water and clear the roads.
The IMD has forecast that heavy rains in the Mumbai metropolitan region will continue for the next 24 hours with a high alert issued on Monday.
“Mumbai and its neighbourhood areas received very intense rainfall. Mumbai is now on red alert with possibilities of extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places. Thunder being heard and satellite, radars points to intense spells,” said K.S. Hosalikar, deputy director general of meteorology, IMD.
Similarly, heavy rainfall was recorded from neighbouring districts of Thane, Palghar and Raigad.
BMC has asked people to stay indoors and avoid stepping out in view of prediction of heavy rains.
“As per the IMD forecast, extremely heavy rainfall is expected in the city and suburbs. Mumbaikars are requested not to venture out unless extremely necessary and stay away from the shore and waterlogged areas,” BMC said.
Bihar floods: NDRF teams rescue over 3,500 people
As many as 21 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed across 12 flood-affected districts in Bihar, rescuing more than 3,500 people. Following the breach in the embankments in east Champaran and Gopalganj districts, NDRF teams reached there to carry out relief and rescue operations.
The river embankment, near Bhawanipur village in east Champaran, was breached on July 23-24 night due to the surging flood waters of the Gandak river. As soon as the embankment gave way, Bhawanipur village was inundated, affecting hundreds of people.
The NDRF personnel along with the district administration officials tackled the situation promptly. According to NDRF commandant Vijay Sinha, two 9th Battalion teams deployed in east Champaran reached the flood-affected areas and carried out rescue operations at night.
During the operation, special care was taken of children, women and senior citizens.
Sinha said that NDRF teams carried out rescue operations on Friday in Sangrampur block of east Champaran district as well as Manjha and Sadar blocks of Gopalganj district and Panapur Diara area of Saran district.
In Gopalganj district, the deluge followed the breach at the Saran embankment of the Gandak river. A team of NDRF led by Inspector Suresh Billung carried out rescue operations in the flood-affected villages of Gambharia Diara and Kiratpura in Baikunthpur block of Gopalganj district on Friday night and evacuated 102 stranded people .
An NDRF official said NDRF teams have rescued more than 3,500 people in Bihar’s flood-affected east Champaran, west Champaran, Gopalganj, Supaul and Saran districts. During the operation, NDRF personnel also helped the civil medical teams to reach the flood-affected areas by boats so that the affected people could be provided medical help.
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