By Rajat Roy
Nine out of 19 districts are already severely affected by flood, and the situation is worsening further yet the West Bengal government is hesitant of officially calling the situation ‘flood affected’. The state irrigation minister Manas Bhuiyan took shelter in semantics while speaking to media persons today. According to Manas Bhuiyan, “Yes, large areas have been inundated, in some places embankments have been breached, but all these have been caused by incessant heavy rain. The root cause of this problem is heavy rain.”
The chief minister Mamata Banerjee has visited for the first time some of the flood affected area today at Udaynarayanpur, Howrah. After that she immediately called up the chief secretary and instructed to ensure speedy supply of food grains and other essential commodities in those affected areas. Also she has asked some of the ministers to visit those flood affected areas and ensure relief work there. In the past as the opposition leader Mamata Banerjee was sarcastic of the state government’s relief initiative and used to claim that flood in Bengal was man made, meaning it was the handiwork of the ruling Left. Now, it seems in her new incarnation as the leader of the ruling party Mamata is a bit perplexed about how to grapple with this natural phenomenon. According to one insider, the chief minister is deeply worried about the possible reaction of the people in those flood affected areas. Yet, inexperience of the government becomes apparent as they are missing the opportunity of making West Bengal eligible for central assistance by not declaring the situation as flood.
Meanwhile the flood situation is likely to worsen further as DVC has started releasing huge quantity of water.
Today, according to Manas Bhuiyan, DVC released 106,000 cusec from Durgapur Barrage.
Kangsavati released 20,000 cusec. This trend will continue as there has been heavy rainfall in DVC’s catchment area in Jharkhand.
The Met office forecast indicates more rain in the next 24 hours. Already, 3, 00,000 hectare farmland has been inundated because of this.
So far, eight people have lost their lives due to house collapse and flood.Flood affected 9 districts, yet govt hesitates calling it flood