October 3, 2021 5:25:01 am
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday blamed the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) yet again for the prevailing flood situation in West Bengal, while urging the Centre to come up with a concrete plan to prevent such types of flooding in the state’s western reaches.
After making an aerial survey of the flood-hit regions of the state, the CM said she would urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter, adding that she would also request the government in neighbouring Jharkhand to draw up flood mitigation plan for both the states.
Apart from making an aerial survey of the flood-affected parts of the state, the chief minister also chaired a review meeting with the top officials of the administration.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, she hit out at the central government, saying, “Not just Bengal, excessive rainfall is being experienced elsewhere in the country as well. However, no action is being taken by the central government. I have asked the chief secretary to write to the central agricultural secretary as agriculture in the state has been severely affected.”
Also coming down heavily on the DVC, the CM claimed that it had committed a ‘crime’ by releasing water into the state without prior consultations with her government.
“While we were busy with the polls (Bhabanipur bypoll and elections to two other Assembly segments in Murshidabad district) on September 30, they (DVC) had released several lakh cusecs of water by midnight. Till October 1, the DVC had released almost 10 lakh cusecs of water,” the CM alleged.
She said people affected by the release of water are agitated and might ask to be compensated by the DVC, adding that she will soon write to the PM on the flood situation in the state.
“While the monsoon couldn’t flood the state, this release of water by the DVC certainly has. Just a day after polling, they released water again. More than 10 lakh cusecs were released. Is this justified? Will the DVC keep releasing water this way every year?” Banerjee said.
She added, “The Union Home minister sent central agencies to malign our leaders but in the aftermath of ‘Amphan’, ‘Yaas’, ‘Phani’ and ‘Bulbul’, they did not allocate any funds for cyclone relief. They should release funds immediately as lives are at stake now.”
“More than five lakh people have been evacuated so far from Howrah’s Udaynarayanpur, Bankura town, Barjora block, Ghatal, Debra, Birbhum’s Nanur and Puba Bardhaman’s Ausgram blocks. More than one lakh houses have been damaged in the inundated areas,” she further said.
While claiming that Jharkhand is a friendly neighbour, the CM said, “They should consult with us before releasing such huge amounts of water from their dams and barrages. They should give us some time to prepare.”
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