KOLKATA: In yet another face-off with the Centre over the issue of flood situation in south Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the central government for releasing water from the dams of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) allegedly without informing the state government. She also described the decision of releasing water keeping the state government in the dark as a 'crime'.
"This is a man-made flood. The DVC released water from reservoirs in Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand without informing us. This is a crime. The Centre is doing injustice to West Bengal. I request the people living in affected areas to keep faith in the state administration. The government is with them to provide all help they need," she said.
The DVC released 2.75 lakh cusecs of water late on Thursday and another spell of 1.5 lakh cusecs of water was released on Friday. A large part of Bankura, Asansol, Birbhum, Hooghly has been flooded following heavy rain and release of water from reservoirs and deaths of five persons were reported in past 24 hours.
"Dredging was not carried out in the DV reservoirs in the recent past to remove the silt. Had the work been done, the capacity of the reservoirs would have been more and release of water might not have been required," said Mamata.
The Bengal CM will take an aerial survey in the flood affected areas on Saturday to take stock of the situation. Urging people to donate for the chief minister’s relief fund, Mamata castigated the PM cares fund. "The chief minister’s relief fund is not PM cares fund. We will deliver the assistance to the needy people," she said.
Five columns of Army personnel have been engaged in Hooghly and Asansol to expedite the rescue operations. Personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were also deployed in the affected areas.
In last August, Mamata raised the allegation of 'man-made flood' after the DVC released water resulting floods in parts of south Bengal. She wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining about "grave man-made flood situation in some districts because of the unprecedented release of water" from DVC dams. She wrote the letter a day after Modi had called her and assured her of all possible support from the Centre.