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Floodwaters cut off road links to Godda

Dumka, July 24: Embankments gave way and rivers overflowed while floodwaters washed away a bridge, cutting off Godda from the rest of the state.

The marooned districtís road links to both Jharkhand and Bihar were snapped.

The government, ironically, had assured in May this year that rivers would be desilted and embankments of the Triveni project repaired before the monsoon. The assurance had followed an indefinite fast by the first chief minister of the state.

But floods wreaked havoc in Godda, where coal mining at Lalmatia coalfield came to a grinding halt with Eastern Coalfields Ltd sources claiming a loss of Rs 2 crore. Open-cast pits of Rajmahal coalfields have become waterlogged, confirmed ECL officials.

While no loss of life was reported from Godda, cattle have drowned and houses damaged. Godda deputy commissioner told The Telegraph that the extent of loss is still being assessed.

Water level at the Massanjore dam, meanwhile, rose alarmingly, causing panic in Dumka. Sullen residents complained that the sluice gates on the Bengal side are not being opened to save land and people in the neighbouring state. But the water level now threatens to inundate large parts of Dumka and damage the paddy crop extensively, they claimed.

Local trains on the Mokama-Kiul section were cancelled and several trains diverted because of the floods. Heavy rain has been predicted over the next 48 hours,

The public works department is being blamed for the collapse of the bridge over the Kazhia on the Godda-Sundarpahari-Sahebganj road.

The pillars of the bridge were apparently meshed with steel and iron nets to protect them from floodwater and boulders. But PWD removed the nets, complained people, for allegedly carrying out repair works but the nets were never replaced.

Besides Godda town, road transport to Poraiyahat and Lalmatia too have been disrupted and people there are grappling with shortages and rising prices.

Extensive damage has been reported to standing crops of paddy from Pathargama, Poraiyahat and Mahagama.

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