MUMBAI: The Pune-Bengaluru national highway was partially reopened for traffic on Monday after six days as floodwaters receded. The highway, along with several other roads in the Kolhapur-Sangli area, was under several feet of water for almost a week, making relief work difficult.
With the traffic restored, relief material has started reaching Kolhapur and Sangli.
Traffic movement between Kolhapur and Belgaum in Karnataka began on one lane on the Shiroli bridge on the six-lane NH-4, where thousands of vehicles were stuck after the highway was submerged in floodwaters last week.
“The water level has come down and Shiroli bridge can be used for vehicular movement. We have so far decided to open only one lane on either side of the national highway as a precautionary measure,” said Abhinav Deshmukh, Superintendent of Police in Kolhapur.
In all, 761 villages in 70 blocks in nine districts of Maharashtra are affected by the flood, and relief operations are underway at all these places.
A total of 111 teams of the Army, Navy and Coast Guard, and 33 NDRF teams are engaged in the relief work, while 4,66,963 people are in 441 shelters.
With the water receding, the people at relief camps are expected to start returning home from Tuesday.