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Flood situation improves in West Bengal

Staff Reporter

Water receding in many areas, no report of any fresh release from reservoirs

KOLKATA: With heavy showers giving way to brief spells on Wednesday, the flood situation in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district slightly improved as water started receding in several areas and no report of any fresh release of water from reservoirs.

The major rivers were flowing well below the danger mark and no new area was inundated, according to the district authorities.

According to the Alipore Meteorological Department, the depression that caused the heavy rainfall in the State since June 17 and wrecked havoc in certain regions had moved to Chhattisgarh on the day.

While the city and its suburbs continued to experience sudden spells of rain during the day, the meteorological department sources attributed them to the monsoon winds rather than the depression. The warning for fishermen against venturing into the sea was also withdrawn.

The meteorological department, however, forecasted isolated heavy rainfall in the Darjeeling, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts over the next 48 hours.

Life limped back to normal in the Paschim Medinipur district where over 2,50,000 people were affected by the floods – thousands were rendered homeless after their houses collapsed in the heavy rain. The Ghatal sub-division was the worst-affected area.

The State's Minister for Irrigation and Waterways, Manas Bhunia, said that apart from the rescue and relief operations, the district authorities have been asked to repair the breaches on the embankments of the Kasai river immediately.

The district's Additional District Magistrate, Subhanjan Das, said that people have started returning to their homes from relief shelters on the day as water receded gradually in several areas.

“Relief distribution operations are in full swing. Other than dry food, 600 tarpaulin sheets were also distributed today to those whose houses have collapsed for temporary shelter,” Mr. Das said.

Pointing to parts of the city getting submerged on June 17 after very heavy rainfall, Dr. Bhunia said that he held a meeting on the day which was attended by the Mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, several MLAs in the city and its suburbs and officials of the Kolkata police and other metropolitan development authorities. “A committee, headed by the Industries secretary, was set up at the meeting which has been asked to table a report within 10 days suggesting ways to solve the city's water-logging problem,” Dr. Bhunia added.

Meanwhile, one fisherman was killed and nine others were injured when the trawler they were travelling in capsized near Jambu Island in the Bay of Bengal. “The trawler capsized following a technical snag on Tuesday evening. Teams were dispatched on Tuesday night to rescue the surviving fishermen. While nine of them were injured, condition of four fishermen is serious and have been admitted to hospital,” N.S. Nigam, DM of South 24 Parganas district, said.

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