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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Long and winding roads no more

33,417 kilometres of roads have been destroyed in Maharashtra, according to this PTI report. Official sources have been cited as putting the death toll in the state at 1056, and the estimated financial damage to be worth Rs 9000 crore (apprx. US$2.07 billion).

LK Advani has demanded that the central government provide Rs 5000 crore (apprx. US$1.15 billion) towards relief work in Maharashtra. Reliance Industries Limited has announced a donation of Rs 5 crore (apprx. US$1.15 million) to the Red Cross, and the USA has announced that it is contributing US$100,000 (apprx. Rs 43.5 lakh) to relief efforts.

Meanwhile, Vilasrao Deshmukh has made a request of Karnataka's chief minister. He has said, "Karnataka should release more water from the Almatti dam so as not to cause floods in Sangli and Kolhapur districts of Maharashtra." The report states:
About four lakh cusecs of water is being let out from the Almatti Dam while Maharashtra is seeking release of six lakh cusecs. Karnataka, however, claims it is releasing the maximum water it can from the dam and has said if it goes any further, several villages in that state will be submerged.
Do we have a crisis here, or are both sides just playing water politics? If both sides are stating the truth, then floods are inevitable somewhere. What a thought.