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West Bengal flood: More villagers marooned; DVC releases water from dams, toll rises to eight

With Damodar Valley Corporation releasing more water from river dams on Thursday, hundreds of villages spread across eight districts in Bengal were hit by floods and people had to move to safer areas.

kolkata Updated: Jul 27, 2017 21:53 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Boats carrying people inside Ghatal town in West Midnapore on Thursday after the roads were inundated.(HT Photo)

Flood situation in Bengal got worse on Thursday after Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) released more water from its dams and sounded a red alert in the lower catchment areas of the Damodar river.

An additional 2,49,450 cusecs of water was released from Durgapur barrage on Thursday morning. As a result, more areas in east Burdwan, Hooghly and Howrah were hit by flood. Two people died in the Barjora area of Bankura district and Baroan in Murshidabad district, taking the toll to eight.

Read: Bengal flood: Six killed; govt, DVC squabble over release of water from dams

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited flood-hit areas in Amta and Udaynarayanpur in Howrah. She accused the DVC of releasing water indiscriminately. “The state government is doing whatever it can to save the people. The DVC should be more responsible and inform us before releasing water,” she said in Howrah.

DVC officials said they informed the government on Wednesday evening that additional water would be released from the river dams because the upper catchment areas were overflowing. Irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee was however not ready to buy any explanation. “We are tired of pleading with the DVC. They have been told several times to exercise control while releasing water. It seems DVC will break all records this year,” said Banerjee.

Udaynarayanpur in Howrah district on Thursday witnessed the worst flood in recent years. ( HT Photo )

Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and said Bengal was witnessing a “man- made flood” caused by DVC authorities. CPI (M) Rajya Sabha member Ritabrata Banerjee also raised the issue.

On Thursday, around 90 villages in Udaynarayanpur and Amta blocks of Howrah district got inundated. Embankments along the Rupnarayan river were breached. Situation in some pockets in the Arambag area of Hooghly district was described as critical by government officials.

In West Midnapore district, villages in Ghatal got flooded following a breach in embankment on the Silabati river on Thursday morning. Villagers in Chandrakona and Daspur areas were marooned. Bus services had to be suspended after roads were inundated.

Certain parts of Mohammad Bazar and Suri in Birbhum district were affected badly after more water was released from Tilpara barrage. Custodians of the century-old Kankalitala temple had to shift the idol of Kali to a safer place when flood water gushed inside.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 21:53 IST