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CS dials Bihar counterpart, Malda admin steps up vigil

KOLKATA: Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay held a telephonic conversation with his counterpart in Bihar, Tripurari Sharan, urging the latter to take steps for lifting the bodies of suspected Covid patients from river Ganga so that the same don't float down the river and enter Bengal through Malda.

According to various news reports, several decomposed and bloated bodies of suspected Covid victims were found floating in river Ganga in Bihar's Buxar district, bordering Uttar Pradesh.

Despite the discussions between two top bureaucrats, all arrangements have been made at Manickchawk in Malda, including deployment of civil defence personnel to carry out round-the-clock surveillance at the entry point of river Ganga at Manickchawk on 10 boats.

The district administration has made all necessary arrangements to check the entry of such bodies into the state and to carry out their cremation in a 'dignified manner' in case they float downstream. The arrangements have been made after the district authority was alerted by Nabanna.

District Magistrate of Malda Rajarshi Mitra said: "Twelve boats have been engaged and all are fitted with high power lights for proper visibility. The civil defence personnel along with the local police have been deployed. They have been provided with nets as well."

Two motorised boats of the Civil Defence department are also being pressed into service.

Around 10 six feet deep graves have been dug at Manickchawk's Gadaichar to bury the bodies, if found.

The officer-in-charge of Bhutni police station has also been directed to keep a close watch on the situation. All deployment had been done since Wednesday night.

Fishermen in the area were also alerted to keep a watch on the river banks. The district administration is also in constant touch with the administration in the neighbouring state.

The administration came to know that no bodies have been spotted at Ara in Bihar so far.

No news of any body being fished out at Manickchawk was received till the time of filing of the report.

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