About 152 people have died while over 1.5 crore people have been affected across 11 districts and around 14,000 crore worth properties were damaged due to floods in West Bengal, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday. The Chief Minister also said that the Centre must treat all flood-affected states equally and provide flood related funds to each one of them. “We have heard that Centre has released Rs 2000 crore funds for Assam and also released funds for Gujarat. I have no objection to that as I want every flood-affected state should get such packages. Bengal has been equally affected by floods just like Gujarat, Assam and Bihar. We also need such packages and we will send a full report on Bengal floods to the Centre. It is a legitimate demand and we believe that we will get it,” Banerjee said after holding a meeting with state and district officials in Malda district.
Earlier in the day, Banerjee had visited flood-affected districts of Malda, South Dinajpur and North Dinajpur and interacted with the affected people. The Chief Minister gave assurance that there will be no paucity of relief materials to the flood affected-people from the state government.
“About 152 people have died in the state due to floods and 1.5 crore people including 45 lakh in Malda, South Dinajpur and North Dinajpur districts have been affected. Around Rs 14,000 crore worth properties have been destroyed due to floods in the state. It is a tentative estimate which might increase as a large number of places are under water and we do not know how many roads and bridges are damaged in these areas,” Banerjee said.
According to her, a total 11 districts have been affected in the state. In North Bengal, Malda, South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts have been affected. In South Bengal, districts of Bankura, Birbhum, Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly have been affected.
The Chief Minister also maintained that the flood in West Bengal was caused due to the release of water from several dams. “The flood has been caused due to the release of water from dams. In South Bengal districts, the flood was caused after Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) released water. In North Bengal, the flood was caused due to the collapse of a dam in Purnea district in Bihar. As a result, water from Bihar entered in districts of Malda, South Dinajpur and North Dinajpur. One of my DMs told me this and we have also complained about this to the Centre. The Centre must also undertake dredging work at DVC, Farakka and other barrages to prevent this situation in future,” Banerjee said.
Later, it was learnt that the state government will provide financial assistance to farmers in the state who have incurred loss due to floods. “We are providing shelter and relief materials to the flood- affected people. We will again have to build the infrastructure like roads, bridges, houses, schools and medical establishments which has been destroyed in the floods. First we are rescuing the people and providing them relief. Next we will restore the infrastructure. There will be no paucity of relief materials from the state government,” Banerjee added.