Death toll in Bengal flood-like situation goes up to 23

Death toll in West Bengal flood-like situation goes up to 23

The flood-like situation has badly hit agricultural activity in the state

People wade through a flooded street to collect food and drinking water from a distribution centre in Amta town. Credit: Reuters Photo

The death toll in the flood-like situation in West Bengal has gone up to 23. According to sources in the State administration, the situation in the state affecting six districts is the outcome of heavy monsoon rain and release of water from the dams of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).

They further revealed that out of the 23, six have died due to wall collapse, seven lost their lives due to drowning, six died due to lightning strike, two due to electrocution and two due to landslides.

While more than 1 lakh persons have been evacuated, 365 relief camps have been opened in the state. Currently more than 40,000 people are lodged in the relief camps. Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force have been deployed alongside Army and Air Force personnel for relief and rescue operations.

Also read: Flood situation in West Bengal is man-made: Mamata tells PM

The flood-like situation has badly hit agricultural activity in the state with sources in the Agriculture Department saying that at least 4 lakh hectare of farmland got submerged in six districts. They also said that unless the water subsides within two to three days it will result in severe loss to farmers.

The fact that four major rivers in the State namely Shilabati, Dwarkeswar, Damodar and Rupnarayan are flowing above the danger level has also become a cause of concern for the State Government.

A senior State Government official said that whereas the State was supposed to receive 1400 millimeters of rain in the year, it has received 600 millimetres of rain in about the last 10 days. The release of of water from DVC’s Tenughat dam in Jharkhand has also become a problem in Bengal.

Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that unplanned release of water from its dams by the DVC created “a man made” flood-like situation in the State. She further alleged that lack of dredging in DVC’s reservoirs has decreased their capacity leading to release of huge quantities of water.