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The grim flood situation in south-west Maharashtra that left at least 37 people dead, is expected to ease with the Karnataka government releasing around 480,000 cusecs of water from Almatti dam on Friday, an official said here.The Maharashtra government had made several pleas to the Centre and Karnataka for release of Almatti dam waters to help ease the flood situation in Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara and the surroundings that have been lashed by incessant rains since the past over one week."Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.Yediurappa informed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today that the water discharged from Almatti dam has been increased to 480,000 cusecs," said an official.

Maharashtra had demanded release of at least 500,000 cusecs water from Karnataka to mitigate the flood situation in the state, where over 2.85 lakh people have been displaced and massive rescue efforts by multiple state and central agencies are underway.Senior Congress leader Nana Patole attacked Fadnavis for mishandling the crisis and for the delay in taking up the issue of Almatti dam water release with his Karnataka counterpart."If the CM had taken up the issue of Almatti dam water release well in time with the Karnataka CM, the flood situation in Maharashtra would not have been so severe nor would have so many lives been lost and lakhs displaced," Patole said.

The floods have also had a fallout in urban centres like Mumbai, Thane, Pune and other cities, which are now witnessing shortage of essentials such as milk, fruits and vegetables.The prices of several items have shot up with ginger selling above Rs 325 per kg, coriander priced at nearly Rs 400/bunch, tomatoes selling between Rs 70-100/kg and chillies priced for Rs 300/kg.Urban business centres like Mumbai and Thane (city) are completely dependent on the adjoining districts of Thane, Palghar, Nashik for vegetables and Ahmednagar, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur for supply of fresh fruits and milk.

However, with areas cut-off, the flow of these items to Mumbai has been erratic creating problems for transporters and the urban consumers alike.Alternative arrangements are being made for milk from Gujarat and vegetable supplies are being augmented from Palghar, Thane and surroundings.

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Source: IANS

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