West Bengal flood situation improves

The flood situation in West Bengal improved further today with the water level of rivers receding.

Published: 21st August 2017 11:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2017 11:31 PM   |  A+A-

Village women carry their children through flood water on the way to nearby relief camp at Flood hit Malda district of West Bengal. | PTI

By PTI

KOLKATA: The flood situation in West Bengal improved further today with the water level of rivers receding and no major rainfall recorded in the last 24 hours, an official of the Disaster Management department said.

So far 55 people have died in the floods since July 21.

"Our officers are constantly monitoring the situation as people are returning home from relief camps. However, water is yet to recede in some parts as the Mahananda river is still flowing above the danger mark," he said.

Situation in Balurghat, Alipurduar, Islampur, Raiganj has improved a lot but National Highway 34 at Narayanpur in the Malda police station area, Itahar, Ranipur and Kaliaganj's Radhikapur were still inundated, the officer said.

"Supplies of medicine, necessary food items -- both dry and cooked -- rice, pulses have been distributed to locals. We are also seeing that nobody is left out," he said.

With railway tracks still under water and a couple of bridges collapsed, train services in North Bengal remained cancelled, an Eastern Railway official said.

"As a sequel to the flood and breaches in the Northern Frontier Railway system, the Eastern Railways has decided to cancel 15 trains starting tomorrow till Sunday," he said Meanwhile, a senior official of the state agricultural department said the state government would compensate farmers affected by the floods depending on the size of their land.

The Agricultural department would pay Rs 1,000 to Rs 18,000 as compensation to the farmers whose fields have been inundated in the 11 districts in the state, he said.

Besides compensating the farmers, the department would also distribute seeds to the distressed farmers whose crops were damaged by the floods.

"Because water has receded from the flood-affected districts in southern West Bengal, we have decided to start distribution of the compensation cheques to the farmers as well as the seeds in these districts.

"The district magistrates will start distributing them soon. After that we will start the distribution for those in the six districts of north West Bengal," the officer said.

With around seven lakh hectares of agricultural land submerged, the state agricultural department's survey pegged the loss at around Rs 800 crore, he added.

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