Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday blamed the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) for "abnormal" release of water from its barrages resulting in floods in the state, which was denied by the DVC.
After reviewing the flood situation at a high-level meeting with officials and holding a video conference with the DMs of all affected districts, Banerjee said she had requested the DVC authority to stop further release of water.
The Chief Minister said she sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her stay in Delhi on August 11 and 12 to discuss the flood situation, place her demands for flood damages from the National Disaster Relief Fund, besides raising the issue of water release by DVC.
"I want to raise the issue of release of water by DVC," Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister said she had even lodged a complaint with Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal over DVC's "abnormal" release of water.
"Earlier too I had written to DVC to undertake dredging and to increase the capacity of their reservoirs, but sadly it had done nothing. We always cooperate with the DVC, but it doesn't," she said.
Responding to Banerjee's allegations, a DVC spokesperson said "We are constantly trying to find a suitable agency for dredging, but are yet to identify anyone."
In a statement issued by the DVC, it said the release of water from the DVC system was not the reason for flooding in the downstream areas.
"Flooding over the past few days is mainly due to the high tidal effects and Komen depression related rainfall. The combined release on August 3 was 95,000 cusecs, which is lower than the safe downstream channel carrying capacity of the Damodar river, which is 1,10,000 cusecs," the statement said.
Inspite of the unprecedented heavy rainfall in Jharkhand and West Bengal over the last few days, DVC dams at Panchet and Maithon had been able to moderate the flow of water to a significant extent of 68 per cent for the last two days, it added.
Meanwhile, DVC officials said the combined release of water today was reduced to 85,000 cusecs.