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Mamata tours flood-hit Bengal district

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Malda (West Bengal): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday visited Malda district where flood fury continued amid over 50 deaths in the state since July 21.

The flood situation in northern West Bengal showed an overall improvement, barring Malda district where nearly five blocks were still inundated by the increasing water level of the Mahananda river.

Floods wreaked havoc in Cooch Behar, South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Malda districts, affecting over 50 lakh people.

Mamata Banerjee interacted with victims and assured them of relief. She also instructed district officials to deal with the disaster promptly.

“This situation is due to the water level of the river,” she told locals.

The Chief Minister is scheduled to depart for South Dinajpur during the day.

According to the State Irrigation Department, heavy downpour in Nepal and Bihar is further worsening the situation as the waters released by them is entering Mahananda.

They said the Mahananda was flowing 1.5 metres above the extreme danger level in the English Bazar area while some other rivers in the area have also breached the danger level.

According to the district administration in Malda, nearly eight lakh people are affected by the flood.

The State Finance Department is collaborating with other departments, including its irrigation counterpart, to formulate a report on the overall flood situation and damages in the state, said state Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee.

“The report will be submitted to the chief secretary and Chief Minister in about a week,” he said.

The Chief Minister had earlier alleged floods in southern West Bengal districts were “man-made” and held the Centre and the Damodar Valley Corporation responsible for the disaster.

IANS

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