Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power Piyush Goyal proposed a tripartite meeting over discharge of water by that Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) that has caused heavy inundation of water in parts of some districts in the state.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had been expressing her annoyance over the DVC authorities for discharging water during monsoon despite being repeatedly requested by the state government to avoid doing the same.
On Monday Manish Gupta, Advisor (Power) to the chief minister, once again asserted that several villages get affected due to release of water by DVC and it also leads to heavy loss in agriculture sector as well. Gupta was speaking in the presence of the Union Coal Minister in a programme in the city.
In reply to Gupta’s claims, Goyal said that DVC does not in fact take the decision on release of water. There is a committee that takes the decision and there is a representative from West Bengal as well in that committee. However, he said the time has come to sit and discuss the issue as a state cannot get affected due to heavy inundation of water.
Hence, Goyal proposed a tripartite meeting in Delhi next week in which members of the Central Water Commission, representatives of the Centre and the state government will be present. State power minister Sobhandeb Chatterjee, who was also present at the programme, said that the Chief Minister herself is looking into the issue. He added that he would let the concerned authority know about the state government’s stand on the tripartite meeting after discussing with Banerjee.
Meanwhile, 1,69,955 cusec of water was released on Monday morning, including 44,109 cusec from Durgapur and 86,955 cusec from Mython. This comes at the time when the DVC authorities held a meeting with the Chief Secretary and other senior state government officials on the same issue. The state government has urged the DVC authorities not to release any more water without consulting the state government. The DVC authorities, however, claimed that the water level is under ‘blue band’, which suggests that the situation is still under control and it takes two days to reach West Bengal when water is released in Jharkhand. Hence, the situation would not deteriorate further if it doesn’t continue raining.
Though rainfall in major marts of West Bengal have ceased, it is still pouring heavily in Jharkhand where more water needs to be released. With such huge quantities of water being released in the past few days, some villages in Bankura, Burdwan, Malda, Howrah and Hooghly districts were affected due to heavy inundation of water.
The state government has taken all necessary steps to combat the situation. The Chief Minister has been taking stock of the situation continuously over phone from the state irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee. She is on tour in north Bengal to hold the administrative review meeting of Malda, North and South Dinajpur. The state irrigation minister went to Udaynaraynpur in Howrah to take stock of the situation.