The state government will write to the Centre seeking funds for the heavy damage incurred due to the man-made flood in the state. A review meeting was held at the state secretariat Nabanna that was chaired by state chief secretary Moloy De to draw up an estimate of the total losses incurred.
As per estimates of the state's disaster management department, the loss to the state exchequer due to the flood- like situation in five districts and heavy rainfall in nine other districts stand at Rs 55. 33 crore. " There are still a few aspects left to finalise the extent of losses. Once it is done we will send it to chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her final approval and then we will write to the Centre for funds," a senior official who attended the meeting said.
Meanwhile, state disaster management minister Javed Khan said at the state assembly that more than 18.09 lakh were affected. Responding to a query from MLA Samir Kumar Jana on the loss due to heavy rainfall since the third week of June the minister claimed that the man- made flood was triggered by the indiscriminate release of water from the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
According to Khan, Paschim Medinipur, Howrah, Hooghly and East Burdwan, Bankura was the worst affected while as many as 9 districts like South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Purulia, Nadia, Birbhum, Murshidabad etc have been hit by heavy rain." 2.27 lakh hectare of agricultural land has been affected and 7311 houses have been totally damaged while 50,724 houses were partially damaged due to the flood, " he said.
Khan alleged a step- motherly attitude on the part of Centre in disbursing funds for the flood affected people of the state. " Last year the situation was more or less the same and we had sent a detailed report to the Centre seeking funds for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people. However, the funds that came was much lower than what we had sought. They have funds for BJP- ruled states but not for Bengal," he said.
State agriculture department has issued an advisory asking farmers to cultivate leafy vegetables on the paddy plots damaged by the floods. District- level officers will train farmers on the farming methodologies that should be used once the flood waters recede. "Nearly 2 lakh acre of paddy land was under water five to six days back. Now it is 90811 acres, "an official said.