Nine persons have lost their lives in the recent floods in five districts of West Bengal, state disaster management department sources today said.
Floods in West and East Midnapore, Howrah, Bankura and Hooghly districts have claimed nine lives so far, they said, adding, that seven persons have died in West Midnapore and two in Bankura. "Situation in East Midnapore district continues to remain grave because of the inflow of tidal water through breached river embankments, but the overall flood situation in West Midnapore district has improved to some extent," sources said. Lakhs of people under 80 blocks of the five districts have been affected, with 71,000 houses either fully or partially damaged, they said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the affected areas, said in her Facebook post last night that people in those districts were in deep trouble following the sudden release of water from different reservoirs of Jharkhand. "I have visited four districts in the past two days and have seen how the flow of water from DVC barrages, released without any consultation and prior information to the state government, had inundated large number of villages. Release of water from Galudhi barrage of Jharkhand government further added to our woes," Banerjee wrote on her Facebook wall. "It was not due to rains. There was no continuous monitoring of those agencies who abruptly released water," she alleged.
Mamata directed the district administration to repair all damaged houses and roads, after the water receded. The Army said one column has been sent to repair a collapsed bridge and breached embankments in West Midnapore district at the request of the state government.
Meanwhile, DVC denied the charge of the West Bengal government and said water was released with prior intimation to the West Bengal administration. DVC Chairman R N Sen told PTI that combined discharge of water from Maithan and Panchet dams today was only 30,000 cusec. "With this minor discharge, there is no possibility of minor inundation on either side of the river banks," Sen said, adding there would be some impact only when the combined release went above 75,000 cusec. If water was not released, it could have damaged the dams, he said.
State government sources said 60,000 cusec water was released from Galudhi barrage in Jharkhand during the day. State's Panchayat and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee, who visited flood-hit Ghatal and Daspur in West Midnapore district today, held a meeting with the local administration to take a note of the situation. Mukherjee distributed relief material among the victims in relief camps and asked officials to expedite relief and restoration works in the affected areas.
Trinamool MP Mukul Roy also visited flood-hit Dantan and Keshiari blocks in the same district and distributed relief material among the affected people.