West Bengal flood toll rises to 30June 22nd, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, June 22 (IANS) The toll from floods in West Bengal rose to 30 Sunday with over three million people affected and 150 missing from the affected areas of East and West Midnapore districts. “Thirty persons - 10 from East Midnapore and 20 from West Midnapore - have died so far due to the floods,” Police Inspector General (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS.
District officials said over 150 people were missing from the two districts - 100 of them from East Midnapore.
The flood situation remained grim in East Midnapore Sunday, though it improved in parts of West Midnapore.
“Bhagwanpur, Patashpur, Egra and Mughberia areas are still inundated. Water is not receding in these areas,” an official said.
East Midnapore district magistrate Anup Agarwal said: “The toll in the district went up to 12 Sunday with more than 100 persons missing. The flood condition is worsening at Egra, Bhagwanpur, Patashpur, and Panskura.”
“There is a lot of political bias going on in the name of relief distribution. I have requested all political parties at Sunday’s meeting to see that no flood victim is deprived of relief. We will put up a notice at every block and village stating the quantity and kind of relief distributed there,” Agarwal told reporters after an all-party meeting at his office Sunday afternoon.
“One hundred quintals of food from the district administration was distributed in Egra and Patashpur. But due to some problems, we could not reach the interiors of Bhagwanpur. Food and relief will reach Bhagwanpur in the next three days,” he said.
“As soon as the water recedes, we will make an estimate of the losses and send it to the irrigation department for compensation. The dams will also have to be rebuilt at the soonest,” Agarwal said.
West Midnapore district magistrate N.S. Nigam said the situation was improving in the district, except in Pingla and Janchak I and II blocks.
“Pingla and Janchak I and II are still waterlogged. But we can handle the situation now. Waters of the Keleghai and Subarnarekha rivers have gone below the danger level,” Nigam said.
“If it doesn’t rain again, normal life will soon be restored in the district,” Nigam told IANS.
Defence spokesperson R.K. Das said air-drop of relief material resumed Sunday morning.
“We received requisition from the state government Saturday night to resume air dropping of food and relief in East Midnapore since the situation is more acute there. Till Sunday afternoon, we have dropped 17 tonnes of food and relief in the district,” Das said.
Das said rescue operations were still on in East Midnapore’s Bhagwanpur and Mughberia areas and West Midnapore’s Sabong and Belda areas.