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Non-stop rain may lead to floods in West Bengal

Ananya Dutta

Many rivers close to danger mark; Paschim Medinipur inundated


Depression over Bay of Bengal not weakening; heavy rain expected in next 48 hours

Damodar Valley Corporation directed to release water from dams in phased manner


KOLKATA: Heavy rain continued here on Monday raising fears of flooding in parts of South Bengal while large areas in Paschim Medinipur district remained inundated leaving thousands of people marooned.

The incessant rainfall continued even though the depression that caused heavy rain last week has moved over to Jharkhand. “The deep depression that had formed is not weakening. Under its influence, heavy rainfall is expected in several districts in the coming 48 hours. A heavy rainfall alert has been issued in Kolkata and surrounding areas. North and South Bengal have witnessed heavy rain,” said G. C. Debnath, director of the weather section of the Regional Meteorological Centre.

It is feared that the situation might worsen with release of water from the dams of the Damodar Valley Corporation due to heavy rain in the catchment areas in Jharkhand.

“Several rivers are flowing close to the danger mark. If the rains recede the situation may be brought under control. We are closely monitoring the situation,” said State Irrigation and Waterways Minister Manas Bhunia.

Dr. Bhunia said the the Damodar Valley Corporation authorities have been requested to release the water in a phased manner during daytime and only after informing the district authorities.

Meanwhile, large parts of Paschim Medinipur district remained inundated and nearly 60,000 people have been affected. While relief operations are under way, certain remote areas have become inaccessible. Thousands have been rendered homeless with their homes having been either swept away by swelling rivers or collapsed.

There have been several breaches, slips and subsidence on the embankments of the rivers in North and South 24 Parganas, Purba and Paschim Medinipur, Howrah and Hooghly districts. While work on the repairs has started in some areas, it has not been possible to do so in areas in Ghatal and Daspur in Paschim Medinipur district because the flow of the water is too high, Dr. Bhunia added.

Dr. Bhunia will be visiting the affected areas in Purba and Paschim Medinipur district on Tuesday.

Six fishing trawlers with 98 fishermen aboard that had been swept off to Bangladesh in the storms that occurred last week will also be returning to the State on Tuesday. 

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