As the floods and heavy rainfall continue to play havoc in several districts of Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is in the firing line of Opposition parties for “hampering” relief work.
A photo of Chouhan being carried by two police officers as they walk through the water during his visit to Panna has sparked off a controversy, with the Congress party hitting out at the CM.
State Congress president Arun Yadav said, “It is shameful that the chief minister is fishing in troubled water. He has converted people's crisis into a political opportunity for himself.”
The party said that the entire government machinery was busy making arrangement for chief minister's visit while several people were stranded. It said the government helicopter which could have been used for relief work was busy ferrying VIPs.
Heavy rainfall in eastern and central Madhya Pradesh since last Wednesday has claimed over 28 lives while thousands of people are stranded in remote villages of Rewa, Satna, Katni and Raisen districts. Army and NDRF have been deployed in these areas.
Earlier in the day, Chohan visited Satna and Panna to oversee relief and rescue operations.
He asked the state administration to keep a strict vigil on the situation in the areas reporting heavy rains and ensure availability of adequate stock of medicines in the flood–affected areas to avert the possibility of outbreak of diseases.
According to a government release, over 35 villages in Rewa district and 62 in Satna are badly hit while 41 in Panna and several others in Raisen, Katni, Rajgarh are also affected.
As many as 4215 people have been rescued safely so far. Three rivers of Satna—Tamas, Simrawal and Chhoti Tamas are overflowing. Six local areas of Rewa have been badly hit. In last 20 hours, 550 people have been rescued from here. Similarly, 505 people in Jawa and Tyonthar Tehsils have also been rescued safely. A total of 1550 people in Rewa district have been rescued. Besides, 144 in Panna district have been evacuated, the release said.
Three teams of NDRF and 12 of SDRF are carrying out rescue operations in the affected areas and 33 DRC are also in operation. Army has been deployed. Two helicopters have been kept at Satna to facilitate rescue operations and 30 motorboats are taking the people to safer places.
In Rewa, as many as 38 relief camps have given shelter to 3500 people while in Satna, 26 camps have over 2500 people. Around 100 people are staying in three camps in Panna.
In Satna, a state level cricket player and coach Babloo Martin was killed when he tried to save a child during a building collapse. The building was constructed by MP Housing Board last year.
The chief minister has announced relief assistance of Rs. 4 lakh each to the families of victims. The Chief Secreary of state Anthony De Sa and other senior officials are constantly monitoring the situation.