Mamata blames Centre, DVC for 'man-made' floods in Bengal
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday held the central government and the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) responsible for the "man-made" floods in southern West Bengal districts.
"This is a man-made flood. This will go on till September. We will monitor the situation closely till first or second week of October. It has rained more this year and, on top of that, water is being released by DVC without informing us," Banerjee told media persons here during an inspection of the inundated areas in Hooghly and Howrah.
Banerjee also interacted with local residents and told them about the cause of flood there.
"What you see here is not due to rains. Over two lakh cusecs of water has been released by DVC. That water will reach the area by midnight. I can only apologise. Unless the DVC is reformed, the problem will persist," she said.
Banerjee on Wednesday demanded that the central government immediately "revamp" the DVC.
She said the central government should start dredging at places like Farraka barrage and ports of Kolkata and Haldia to stop this flooding every year.
The DVC, however, said that it had "no role" in releasing the water as the decision was made by the Damodar Valley Reservoir Regulation Committee (DVRRC), which has central government as well as state government representatives.
"The regulatory authority is more dangerous. They don't consider the plight of the public. They don't understand. We alert the public on our own that DVC is releasing water. My throat has become sore requesting the Centre," she said.
Banerjee also announced that the state government was going to take up a Rs 1,800 crore World Bank project for reforming the lower Damodar basin area.
"The project is being finalised and it will take some time. But if DVC continues to release water like this, then it will be difficult to manage. The Centre is spending so much on publicity... it can also take up the issue of reforming DVC," she said.
State Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said rivers in at least six districts had breached their banks.
"Birbhum, West Midnapore, Hooghly, Murshidabad, Bankura and Howrah are the worst affected districts. Some small rivers in Murshidabad and other districts have burst their banks. Many blocks in Hooghly are under water," Rajib Banerjee said.