Kolhapur: In a surprise move, the Maharashtra government on Monday clamped prohibitory orders in flood-hit Kolhapur from 12 days between August 12-24, drawing criticism from the opposition.
The order, issued by Resident Deputy Collector Sanjay Shinde, said that the torrential rains and mega floods since the past 15 days in the district has severely affected normal life.
Accordingly, there is a possibility of trouble being created in view of August 12 (Bakr Eid), August 15 (Independence Day) and August 24 (Dahi Handi).
"This could be in the form of suicides, indefinite hunger strikes, sit-in dharnas, frequent agitations by political parties or organisations, which cannot be ruled out. The possibility of a law and order situation arising out of such unanticipated developments cannot be ignored," Shinde said in his clamp order.
The order has been strongly criticised by the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, which have termed it as "draconian and reminiscent of General Dyer`s days."
NCP Mumbai President Nawab Malik said the government`s failures in handling the flood situation in Kolhapur and other districts like Sangli, Satara and Pune are now starkly getting exposed.
"They are resorting to such tactics since the people are fuming with anger since the past nearly two weeks. Is this a democracy or the rule of Gen Dyer"? Malik said.
Slamming the government, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said that when the flood situation was at its peak, various ruling party leaders were busy in their political and election yatras which worsened the crisis.
"The guardian ministers were absent from their districts, the administrative machinery reacted late and the affected people are furious with the government. Instead of cooperating with the people and rushing them all aid materials, the state has resorted to prohibitory orders," Thorat said.
State Youth NCP Working President Ravikant Varpe said thousands of poople and groups from all over the state have started reaching Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara with trucks and tempos carrying aid material for the flood victims.
"Now, they are being stopped at the check-posts by police. How can we help the people who are in a bad shape in the affected areas? The government must immediately lift this ban order to enable us reach food, medicines, clothes, household articles," Varpe told IANS from the check-post.
As the skies cleared over the three districts and rains subsided, the true picture of the devastation wreaked by the floods started coming to the fore with waters receding from the towns and villages and people faced another struggle to begin life afresh.
Besides the state government, hundreds of NGOs, private agencies, corporates, temple trusts, social organisations and others got into the act to rush all types of relief materials for the flood victims.