Over 1,000 villages in 17 districts affected: UP CM begins tour of flood-hit districts

Amid criticism from the Samajwadi Party (SP) about the alleged mishandling of the response to the flood crisis, the chief minister announced Rs 4 lakh compensation for the families of each of those who died in the floods.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday embarked on a three-day “extensive tour” of six flood-affected districts in the eastern part of the state and conducted an aerial survey, officials said.

Amid criticism from the Samajwadi Party (SP) about the alleged mishandling of the response to the flood crisis, the chief minister announced Rs 4 lakh compensation for the families of each of those who died in the floods. The amount will be paid to the families of those who drowned or died in animal attacks, the chief minister said, adding that the kin of farmers or sharecroppers who lost their lives would receive Rs 5 lakh each under the Farmers’ Accidental Insurance scheme. An assistance of Rs 95,000 will be given for houses damaged in the spate, he said, adding that homes swept away in the floodwaters were being repaired under the Chief Minister Awas Yojana.

The CM conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Gond, Bahraich and Balrampur, and interacted with marooned citizens. He also distributed relief material to some of the flood-affected people. Adityanath said about 15 districts had been hit by the deluge, the third in the state this year.

“The CM has directed officials to analyse the damage of crops in heavy rainfall and flood — including vegetable crops in Bahraich. The districts [he visited] include Bahraich, Gonda, Siddharthnagar, Balrampur, Gorakhpur, and Maharjganj,” said a government spokesperson.

With four rivers in spate, Adityanath appointed nodal officers in all 75 districts and directed them to camp in their areas for four days to effectively execute the ongoing relief and rescue operations, and monitor the situation, said the government.

Talking to reporters in Gonda, Adityanath said due to the state government’s timely action the damage had been minimised compared to previous years. The chief minister said dredging and channelising of the Ghaghra river near the Elgin bridge had helped avert the magnitude of damage due to floodwaters in Gonda, Bahraich and Barabanki. Trained personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) had been deployed in the water-logged areas, he added.

Adityanath said due to the possibility of attacks by snakes and other dangerous animals, the state administration had made comprehensive arrangements of anti-venom and anti-rabies injections in hospitals. The chief minister instructed various departments to launch an integrated “swachchta abhiyan [cleanliness mission[” from September 5 to 12 to protect citizens from water-borne diseases.

Officials said around 1,024 villages in about 17 districts were hit by floods. The statement quoted Relief Commissioner Ranveer Prasad as saying that more than 1,06,129 dry ration kits had been distributed so far, with 10,814 people receiving them in 24 hours. “The state government has distributed 4,16,855 lunch packets to the affected people till now. In the last 24 hours itself, 10,951 lunch packets have been distributed,” read the statement.

Meanwhile, SP president Akhilesh Yadav lashed out at the Adityanath government over its handling of the flood crisis, and accused it of being busy giving publishing advertisements for itself.

In a statement, Akhilesh said, “In dozens of districts in the state, rivers have swelled and people are struggling to save their lives and belongings. Dams are collapsing and so are roads and ways. There is destruction everywhere. Cattle are struggling for drinking water and food and there are diseases that are widespread. The BJP government is not looking at all this, and is busy in giving out advertisements and are busy in such events.”

The former CM added, “In the CM’s home district Gorakhpur, the situation is getting worse. Six primary rivers are rising. Here, the Bharwalia-Basawanpur ring dam has collapsed. Traffic on the roads linking Gorakhpur-Varanasi, Sonauli, Gorakhpur-Lucknow is being interrupted. Several check dams have collapsed. The Indian Oil bottling plant has also been affected by water-logging.”

The SP chief claimed the Yogi Adityanath government was not “addressing the flood situation seriously and even relief work is not being done”. In several districts, diseases have spread and there is no medical help for people. “Everything has been left to God,” he added.

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