FLOOD WATERS in six districts of North Bengal, affected by floods, have started receding, Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said on Thursday. “The situation has seen a marked improvement in Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, where water has started receding. In South Dinajpur as well, where four rivers had crossed the danger mark, water has started receding.
If water continues to recede at this rate, we expect the situation in North Bengal to become normal by the end of this week,” Banerjee said.
On Wednesday, the state government had said that 32 people had died across six districts in North Bengal due to the floods and 14 lakh have been affected across the flood-hit districts.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that many of the highways and roads, which had submerged in North Bengal, had now cleared, restoring communication.
“One district is a cause for concern now and that is Malda. All the water that is receding may enter Malda. I am in now Malda and we are monitoring the situation closely,” said Rajib Banerjee.
He pointed out that Harishchandrapur, Chanchal and Rathua in Malda, where relief camps have been set up, are the worst affected.
“The flood situation in Bengal is the result of flooding in neighbouring states and countries. Bengal being the lowest lying area has been a catchment for water. In South Dinajpur and places like Raiganj, water has more or less receded completely as of today. Many people in relief camps have started returning home,” he said.
According to disaster management officials, 1,38,134 people had taken refuge in relief camps — 622 of which are state aided and 800 set up by various NGOs.
Meanwhile, the state chief secretary has written to the secretary (Civil Aviation) to send advisories to airline operators urging them to increase the number of flights between Kolkata and Bagdogra and also to keep the fares normal.