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Gokul, the largest milk brand in the State’s milk cooperative sector, on Friday said there would be no supply of milk to Mumbai on Saturday due to heavy rains and flooding in Kolhapur, Sangli and other districts.

Vishawas Patil, chairman, Kolhapur Zilla Sahakari Dudh Utpadak Sangh Limited, which owns the brand, said: “The collection was largely affected on Thursday and Friday due to downpour in western Maharashtra and Konkan. Against the daily collection of 13 lakh litres, we could collect 2.5 lakh litres on Friday. It had dropped by 76,000 litres on Thursday. Flooding has not only affected collection of the milk, but also transportation due to closure of State and national highways. We will not be able to supply milk pouches to our Mumbai consumers on Saturday.”

The ‘sugar heartland’ of Maharashtra comprising Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli districts are facing a flood-like situation following incessant showers over the last three days, causing several rivers to exceed their danger levels and render the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway unusable for traffic.

120 bunds, dams submerged

Nearly 120 bunds, dams and waterworks have been submerged by overflowing rivers in Kolhapur, while traffic along the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway was shut after waters of the Vedganga river flooded the highway at Nipani.

Showers battered Kolhapur, causing the Panchganga river to swell and flow at an alarming 54 ft. near Rajaram bridge, way past its danger level at 43 ft., bringing back harrowing memories of the 2019 floods that ravaged the district.

“The next 48 hours will be crucial for Kolhapur and if rivers continue swelling, we could face a situation similar to the one in 2019. I have directed the district administration to shift people living in villages like Prayag Chikhali, Ambewadi and Aarey, who run a major risk of being hit by the floodwaters,” said Kolhapur Guardian Minister Satej Patil. “I appeal to people living along riverbanks and in low-lying areas to immediately intimate the district administration if water levels begin rising,” he said.

State and National Highways closed

National and State highways linking Goa with Mumbai, and Kolhapur with Ratanagiri have been closed for traffic as many roads and villages have been submerged by flood waters.

Meanwhile, the hill station of Mahabaleshwar in Satara notched a record 595 mm rain in the last 24 hours, prompting the opening of six doors of Koyna dam and a discharge of more than 10,000 cusecs.

Several tehsils in Kolhapur have reported rain in excess of 200 mm in the last few days, while the Krishna river in neighbouring Sangli, has crossed the danger mark.

Source : The Hindu July 23 2021