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Mahananda water recedes

Siliguri, July 20: The Mahananda that flooded the Milan More area yesterday after an embankment breach has receded but authorities said the farming fields where the water had entered would lie waste for at least three years now.

Officials of the district administration today said 7,500 families had suffered because of the flooding.

The inundation, twice in a span of 72 hours, also damaged property worth around Rs 1 crore.

“Based on the information collected from the affected areas of Matigara block such as Milan More, Devidanga and other localities, it has been found that 7,500 families in 28 localities were affected. The families have been accommodated in 20 relief camps. Many of them, however, left the camps for their homes as water has receded,” said Bir Bikram Rai, the block development officer of Matigara. “Over 100 houses have been permanently damaged.”

Bengal chief secretary Samar Ghosh, the state home secretary Basudeb Banerjee and DGP Naparajit Mukherjee toured Milan More this morning.

“The Indian Army and the state irrigation department have worked on a war footing to repair the affected portion of the embankment. Permanent work will be done after the monsoon,” Ghosh said at Milan More.

“Instructions have been given for payment of appropriate compensation to the affected families on the basis of the damage they have suffered,” he said.

Sources said the 150-member army contingent pressed into action yesterday carried out embankment repairs today also.

Defence sources in Calcutta said the kripan division of the army, stationed at Binnaguri in Jalpaiguri, has built a 90-metre bailey bridge over the Kuchi Diana river.