The flood situation in south Bengal continued to remain grim on Friday, with water just marginally receding from some of the inundated areas, an official said. In the northern part of the state, three rivers in Malda district — Ganga, Fulhar and Mahananda — are in spate following heavy rain in the catchment areas, he said. The Army and NDRF personnel, during the day, distributed food, medicines and other relief materials in the flood-hit areas of Hooghly, according to the official.
Several districts in south Bengal – including Hooghly, Purba Medinipur, Howrah, South 24 Parganas — have been reeling under flood woes following heavy rain and discharge of water from Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) dams.
At least 23 people died in the flood and lakhs have been rendered homeless.
The DVC, which has been blamed by the Mamata Banerjee government for the crisis in the southern districts, said in a statement that it released 29,000 cusec water on Friday.
A state government official noted that the situation will prove once the DVC stops releasing water.
“There is no report of any new casualty. We are trying hard to ensure that there is an adequate supply of food, medicines and clothes for people at the relief camps.
“Water level has just marginally receded in some areas and the situation is expected to improve if there is no rainfall tonight and tomorrow. Also, once the DVC stops discharging water, water will retreat from the flood-affected areas,” the official said.
Hooghly district magistrate P Deepap Priya said that a large number of villagers have taken shelter at relief camps as their homes and fields lay inundated.
The district administration has distributed drinking water pouches, dry food, medicine and ORS to the affected people, Priya said.
Most places in Khanakul, one of the worst-affected areas, are facing power outages, the DM said.
Helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) had earlier rescued 31 people from Khanakul as Army personnel carried out relief rescue operations during the last weekend.
“An infantry column consisting of approximately 45 jawans is involved in the relief and rescue operations in the affected areas of Hooghly,” a defence spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Pranab Kumar Samanta, executive architect, Malda Irrigation division, said water from river Ganga has already overtopped banks and entered low-lying areas in various places, including Parlalpur, Koshighat and Kesharpur.
River Ganga had crossed the danger level at Manikchak Ghat point in Malda on Thursday night, he said.
At least 600 families in Lalutola, Bhimgram and Gopalpur panchayat areas of Manikchak have already been shifted to safer places, Samanta added.
(With PTI inputs)