11 Dead, 22 Lakh People Affected as Fresh Floods Hit West Bengal

At least 11 people have died, while the lives of over 22 lakh people have been disrupted in the southern districts of West Bengal after severe floods hit the state. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has blamed the current flood in southern Bengal on Jharkhand and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).

Ms. Banerjee called the flood a ‘man-made crisis’ while expressing disappointment over the Jharkhand government’s mismanagement of the canals and dams, which caused the swarming conditions in the neighboring state. Moreover, she accused the DVC officials of releasing water at 3 am, without informing anyone downstream. The chief minister of the state will be visiting the flood-affected regions soon.

In the aftermath of Cyclone Gulab, Jharkhand experienced heavy rains in the past few days, prompting the DVC to release 275,000 cusecs of water recently. The water discharge from reservoirs like Maithon, Durgapur barrage and Panchet has increased amid heavy rains in Jharkhand. The amount of water submerged several districts of West Bengal including Bankura, Purulia, Asansol, Howrah and West Medinipur.

West Bengal floods

Image: Amit Kumar Karmakar

According to the preliminary estimates, over 1 lakh houses had been damaged, while 2 lakh people had taken refuge in about 1,500 camps in south Bengal. Around 4 lakh people have been evacuated from the affected areas.

Eight columns of Army have been positioned in the flood-affected regions, with 25 troops of the National Disaster Response Force and 24 troops of the State Disaster Response Force. About 200 boats have been making rounds in the affected areas to help any stranded people.

The state is battling the second flood this year. The people in southern Bengal had witnessed a similar situation at the end of July and the first week of August 2021; however, the present situation is grimmer. It is imperative to find long-term solutions to floods in the flood-prone regions, else it is mayhem with death and destruction every trimester.

Via: Telegraph India

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