Depression moves to Jharkhand, hundreds marooned

Last Updated: Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 22:21

Kolkata: The deep depression formed over
the Bay of Bengal moved to Jharkhand on Sunday, marooning
hundreds and breaching river banks in several south Bengal
districts, while heavy rains claimed the lives of two more
people, taking the overall death toll to eight.

Hundreds of people, especially in the Sunderbans in South
24-Parganas district, have become shelterless in the 72 hours
of heavy rainfall as rivers breaching their banks inundated
homes and fields.

West Bengal Irrigation Minister Manas Bhuniya told
reporters that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had directed
district administrations in the affected districts to shift
villagers to safer places as precautionary measures.

Banerjee held an emergency meeting on the impending flood
situation in some districts with the irrigation minister at
her residence today.

She had asked the party legislators to remain in their
constituencies for helping affected people.

"I have already directed DMs of all affected districts to
relocate people to safer places and all weekly holidays of
employees in all government departments involved in rescue and
relief operation have been cancelled," Bhuniya said.

Meanwhile, with two more deaths reported from Bankura
district today, the death toll in the depression-triggered
rains in south Bengal districts rose to eight, while a large
number of people remained marooned with many mud-built houses
flattened.

An action-taken report has been forwarded to the chief
minister, Bhuniya told reporters, adding officials in the
affected areas have been asking people through the public
address system to move to safer places.

Secretary of Disaster Management Department Indewar
Pandey said two more deaths have been reported from the
worst-hit district of Bankura.

The two died in two different incidents of wall collapse.

The other casualties include two each from South
24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas districts and the one each
from Nadia district and Kolkata, Pandey said.

Banerjee instructed opening of a special control room at
the Writers Buildings which would be manned by some ministers
including the Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, Planning
Minister Manish Gupta and Minister for Disaster Management and
Fire Services Javed Khan.

Sources close to the chief minister said the DVC
authorities have said it might be forced to release 10 to 12
thousands cusecs of water from its system by tonight.

"The DVC authorities had sought the chief minister`s
permission. She has requested the DVC authorities not to
discharge water unless it is extremely necessary," the sources
said.

At Kalipahari rail station in the coal belt of Burdwan
district near Asansol, a 30-foot-deep cavity was formed just
25 metre away from railway tracks through which major trains
like Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express run, SDO Sandip
Dutta said.

However, no casualty or injury was reported but the rail
traffic was stopped on that line. Trains supposed to travel on
the track were diverted to other three tracks with a slow
speed of 20 kmph, Dutta said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 22:21

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