A helicopter is being deployed to drop relief material in the flood-ravaged areas of Sangli district in Maharashtra and it may also be used to evacuate stranded people, a senior official said on Friday.
Rescue measures are underway in rural as well as urban areas of the western Maharashtra district, he said. "We have received one chopper and its trial landing has been successfully conducted. We are now starting sorties to drop relief material in the affected areas.
"The chopper may be used to evacuate people from the flood-hit areas," said Abhijit Choudhary, district collector of Sangli.
As of Thursday, over two lakh people have been evacuated to safer places due to the floods that have wreaked havoc in five districts of Western Maharashtra - Sangli, Pune, Kolhapur, Solapur and Satara, officials have said.
Among them, Sangli and Kolhapur are the worst-hit. As many as 97,102 people have been shifted to safer places in Kolhapur followed by 80,319 in Sangli, they have said.
The region has been pummelled by heavy rains over the last few days.
"Rescue measures are on in rural as well as in city areas and people are being evacuated from the affected areas.
The number of evacuated people will increase," Abhijit Choudhary said. At least nine people drowned and four went missing after a boat engaged in rescue work overturned near the flooded Brahmanal village in Palus tehsil of Sangli on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a dozen rescue teams of the Indian Navy are being deployed in Sangli district, an official said.
The rescue teams left for Sangli on Thursday night by road in state transport vehicles after their airlift was aborted due to unfavourable condition in Sangli and adjoining Kolhapur, another flood-hit district, a defence spokesperson said in a statement in Mumbai.
Police escorts were provided for a green corridor till Sangli, the spokesperson said. "These 12 Navy teams will be deployed today (Friday) in Sangli in addition to the teams already present in Kolhapur," he added.
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