Malda/Balurghat: The flood situation remained serious in Malda and South Dinajpur districts following rise in water level of rivers due to heavy rains in North Bengal in the past few days.
Official sources said an estimated 40,000 people of 150 villages under Tapan, Gangarampur, Bangshihari, Kushmandi and Kumarganj blocks were affected as the three major rivers Atreyee, Punorbhaba and Tangon submerged low-lying areas.
In Bangsihari block, 30,000 people were marooned due to breach in the river `bundh`, the sources said, adding most of the 18 such embankments were in precarious condition.
The local police station in Bangsihari was under threat of being flooded as sand bags were being piled up at the nearby embankment. The administration deployed country boats to ferry the marooned, the sources said.
In Malda, rivers Ganga and Mahananda were in spate threatening to submerge low-lying areas as river Fulahar crossed the extreme danger mark at Teljana in Harishchandrapur II block, the sources said.
With Panchayat polls slated to take place in the area on July 22 in the fifth phase, a `ring bundh` breached at Gobrahat submerging six polling booth areas, the sources said, adding that no poll arrangements could take place as a result.
While 5,000 people were directly hit in the area, five speed boats were pressed into service as the disaster management team worked round the clock, the sources said.
With swollen Tangon, Punorbhaba and Mahananda, vast tracts of agrarian land in Gajole and Bamongola blocks got submerged as the disaster management personnel worked round the clock, the sources said.
About 5,000 people, living on the Mahananda bank, had moved away apprehending the situation will worsen further.