Rajib Banerjee, the state irrigation minister, said that DVC has finally taken the step. But it is too late. So many villages in the state would not have got affected due to heavy inundation of water if the step had been taken soon after the Chief Minister had alerted them for the first time a few weeks ago.
“Today (Wednesday) too around 46,000 cusec of water was released. But the situation has improved a lot compared to that of yesterday (Tuesday) as the rainfall had seized. No more areas in Arambagh are inundated. The situation in Khanakul has also improved and the water will recede completely from here by tomorrow (Thursday). But it will take one more day for normalcy to get restored at Udaynaraynpur in Howrah,” Banerjee said.
According to a press release issued by DVC on Wednesday, “DVC has taken the decision to increase the maximum flood storage level at Maithon Dam from 495 feet to 500 feet and at Panchet Dam from 425 feet to 435 feet even though this would mean that DVC would have to pay compensation to the
inhabitants residing in the upstream areas of these dams due to the resultant inundation of their properties that would occur”.
The performance of the dams will improve as a World Bank funded project has been initiated for improvement of Konar, Maithon and Panchet dams. The operation of Tenughat dam of Jharkhand government has been integrated with that of the dams of DVC for a better flood management. The step was taken as water reaches to DVC dams when discharged from Tenughat.
It has also been maintained that DVC maintains DVC dams at Maithon, Panchet, Tilaiya and Konar in Jharkhand, but the decision to release water is taken by the Damodar Valley Reservoir Regulation Committee (DVRRC) that is comprised of representatives from West Bengal and Jharkhand governments apart from the members of the Central Water Commission (CWC).
The DVC has also modified a flood warning system and at the same time a web-based flood warning service has also been initiated to let people get flood warnings as early as possible.