GUNA: Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas of the Gwalior-Chambal region and directed officials to restore public services on priority.

Taking a jibe at Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath, who conducted aerial surveys of the flood-affected region on Saturday, Scindia said the former should have got down to see the “ground reality”.

“One should not confine himself just to conducting aerial surveys. Whenever such visits are made. Those conducting such visits should also get down on the ground to see the actual situation,” Scindia told reporters when asked about Nath’s aerial survey.

Talking to reporters in Gwalior before surveying in the morning, Scindia had said the region had not witnessed such devastation in the past four decades.

At least 24 people died and thousands were evacuated to safety as rains lashed the Chambal-Gwalior region of north Madhya Pradesh earlier this week.

On Sunday, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said the flood situation was improving following which no rescue operation was undertaken.

He said nearly 14,000 people were staying in more than 230 relief camps in the affected districts.

“The ground situation is more important than aerial surveys and that is why wherever I undertake such surveys, I make it sure to visit those places on the ground as well to assess the actual problems being faced by the people.”

“My feet are always rooted to the ground. I don’t believe in just aerial surveys. Anyway, this is a crisis time and the ruling party, as well as opposition members, are first the public servants, and therefore, they should serve the people with dedication,” the Guna royal said.

After conducting the aerial survey, Scindia discussed the situation with ministers and officials.

He asked them to restore public services on priority.

Scindia also directed them to provide relief money to the affected people without delay and also the drinking water. He said transmission lines and transformers are repaired immediately and power restored.

Also, he asked officials to ensure speedy distribution of food grains even in those areas where roads are damaged, sources close to the minister said quoting him.

Scindia also directed officials to organise health camps in the affected villages to check the spread of diseases.

He also criticized Congress for its stand on COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns.

“People are aware of the reality of that party (Congress) and their ideology. They are not bothered about the people’s lives and believe in doing cheap politics,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia raised the issue of Soda village which gets cut-off in every rainy season and urged for finding a permanent solution, sources said.

Besides Sisodia, energy minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar, BJP’s Guna Lok Sabha MP KP Yadav and senior officials among others were present.