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Congress leader urges PM to treat Bengal river bank erosion as national disaster, release funds

In a letter to the PM, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said large chunks of fertile lands have been lost to the Ganga, which flows through the two minority-dominated districts, rendering lakhs of people homeless and making them "neo-refugees".

By: PTI | Kolkata |
Updated: June 12, 2021 4:55:39 pm
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury represents Berhampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district. (File)

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to treat large-scale river bank erosion in Malda and Murshidabad districts of West Bengal as a national disaster and release adequate funds for mitigation.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the senior Congress leader, who is also the party’s state unit chief, said that large chunks of fertile lands have been lost to the Ganga, which flows through the two minority-dominated districts, rendering lakhs of people homeless and making them “neo-refugees”.

“They become landless and lose their livelihood. Sometimes, poverty leads to an increase in crimes. It creates neo-refugees with many social problems,” the letter read.

Citing an example of the problems faced by the erosion-affected people, Chowdhury said a colony of such people from Malda has come up in Mumbai’s Byculla area, where they are branded as Bangladeshi infiltrators as they have also lost their documents to the erosion.

“During the UPA regime, a large fund was sanctioned for the above issue. I request you to kindly release adequate funds to check the land erosion and protect the life and livelihood of the affected people,” he said.

Chowdhury represents Berhampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district. Ganga flows through Malda before entering Murshidabad, where it splits into Bhagirathi that flows south through West Bengal and Padma which flows east into Bangladesh.

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