₹2 lakh compensation for families of flood victims: CM
Kolkata: Vast areas in Malda, south and north Dinajpur and Alipurduar have been freshly inundated following a heavy shower that hit the districts on August 15 evening.
Thirty-two people have so far died in north Bengal since July 21 of which 30 people drowned and two died of snake bite. Agricultural land covering an area of 2.93 lakh hectare has been affected in north Bengal. Six hundred and twenty-two relief camps are being operated where 1.38 lakh people have taken shelter. Altogether 14.61 lakh people have been affected in north Bengal.
While commenting on the flood situation Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the families of those who died in flood would get Rs 2 lakh as compensation. " After south Bengal, north Bengal has been badly hit. I have informed the Prime Minister and Home Minister but as the assessment has not yet been completed, it is not possible to state the exact figure."
She said the railway bridge at Dalkhola had broken and according to railway authorities it would take two weeks to repair. " I have requested them to repair it at the earliest. I have requested them to find out whether train services can be resumed via Kishengunj. BSF has been asked to give permission to use Dalkhola Road. " The chief minister said the situation had improved in Alipurduar and Gangarampur and the level of the Atreyi river had gone down.
Rajib Banerjee, state Irrigation and waterways minister is camping in south Dinajpur. He said no delay in distribution of relief materials will be tolerated. He said the CM was monitoring the situation and had instructed to send relief and take people to safer places.
Meanwhile, since flood water is flowing above the railway track in North East Frontier Railway System, the following trains leaving Howrah / Sealdah/ Kolkata remained closed on Wednesday. The trains are- 13145 UP Kolkata-Radhikapur Express, 13147 UP Sealdah-New Cooch Bihar Uttarbanga Express.
13149 UP Sealdah-Alipurduar Kanchankanya Express, 13159 Up Kolkata –Jogbani Express, 13163 Up Sealdah – Saharsa Hatey Bazare Express and 12343 UP Sealdah-New Jalpaiguri Darjeeling Mail among others.
Harindra Rao, general manager Eastern Railway said all north Bengal bound trains have been cancelled till August 18. In many places, culverts have been washed away or damaged and the soil below railway tracks have been washed away.
The South Dinajpur district administration has kept all the school and colleges closed till August 18.
Balurghat town is under waist deep water. Hili- Balurghat National Highway is waterlogged and all traffic movement has been suspended. Speed boats have been deployed to take people of low lying areas to safer places. Purnabhaba and Jamuna rivers are flowing above the danger mark. " This is the worst flood since 1986", said Hemanta Sengupta, a resident of Balurghat. People from low- lying areas are coming to Balurghat town. In Islampur 35,000 people have been dislocated after a bridge in Karandighi collapsed on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Mahananda is flowing above danger mark while Phulahar river is likely to cross danger mark if the rain does not stop. In Malda, Trinamool Congress MLA Nihar Ghosh has opened a relief camp at Malda railway station for stranded passengers. Vast areas in old Malda and Englishbazar are flooded. Vast areas of Alipurduar district are still inundated.