Three more deaths have been reported from separate districts in the state that has been lashed by rain for the last few days, causing several rivers to flow above the danger mark and trigger a flood scare. While two deaths were reported from Murshidabad district, one was from Burdwan district.
In Murshidabad, a student of Class VIII, Rounik, was washed away in Burwan area. Rounik was returning home from tuition when the incident took place. After recovering him from the water, villagers took him to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. In Domkol area of Murshidabad, one Marjina Bibi, who had sustained injuries after a wall had collapsed on her due to heavy rain, succumbed on Wednesday. In Burdwan district, the body of one Amit Agarwal, who was washed away by the flow of a river on Monday, was recovered from Durgapur barrage.
Meanwhile, swelling rivers have inundated several villages in Howrah, Hooghly, West Midnapore, Bankura, Birbhum and Murshidabad districts.
The Met office has forecast heavy rain in the next 24 hours in south Bengal, including Kolkata.
According to officials, situation in West Midnapore, Bankura, Birbhum and Hooghly will deteriorate if the rain continued.
In Birbhum district, Labpur block is under water and river Dwarka is flowing above the danger mark. Similarly, river Shilabati in West Midnapore district is swelling while river Darakeshwar in Bankura is flowing above the danger level.
In Hooghly district, areas under Arambag and Goghat blocks are badly affected and villagers have been relocated. In Murshidabad district, more than 50 villages in Kandi subdivision are the worst hit. In Howrah, areas under Udaynarayanpur have been badly affected, while in East Midnapore, Panskura is the worst hit. Ghatal, Chandrakona and Keshpur are the affected areas in West Midnapore district.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who returned to Kolkata from Delhi on Wednesday evening, asked the Centre to undertake dredging work at Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) to prevent a flood-like situation.
“There are some barrages in Jharkhand from where water is released every year. Being a lowland area, West Bengal suffers its consequences. DVC has released nearly 1 lakh cusecs of water today. As a result, areas in several districts like Howrah, Hooghly, Midnapore and Birbhum will be under water. I have been telling the central government since 2012 to start the dredging work at these barrages. These barrages have the capacity to hold more water but due to lack of dredging work the sediments and slits are not removed. The Centre must immediately start the dredging work,” Mamata said.
The state government has opened relief camps across the affected districts and has been supplying relief materials too. “It stopped raining in several parts of the state. The situation is improving in several areas. But, water released from several dams in Jharkhand is worsening the situation here. DVC and Galudih are releasing water to our state which is a big concern. Despite the improved weather, we cannot say that the worse is over for us. Even if the situation improves, water released from these dams will once again worsen the situation,” said state Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee.
According to DVC, over 2 lakh cusecs of water was released from Maithon and Panchet dams in the last three days. “The government has set up a special control room at Nabanna, the state secretariat, to monitor the situation. All employees of the disaster management and irrigation departments and chief medical officers have been asked to report to duty and their leaves have been cancelled,” the minister added.