Calcutta, Oct. 21: The state government today refused to meet officials of the Damodar Valley Corporation who wanted to clear the air on what caused the recent floods in Bengal, sources said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had instructed that no government official should meet the DVC team as she was upset with the corporation’s continuous denial of “irresponsible release of water”, the sources added.
Mamata had accused the DVC and the Jharkhand government of releasing water from dams in the neighbouring state without informing Bengal, which caused floods in 27 blocks in East and West Midnapores, Howrah and Hooghly.
“The additional secretary of DVC, Pallab Roy, and senior officials of the corporation were supposed to meet state irrigation secretary Tushar Kanti Ghosh at Jalasampad Bhavan today. The meeting was convened after a request for a meeting between DVC chairman R.N. Sen and the chief minister was turned down,” a source said.
The meeting today, for which DVC had sent a fax this morning, was called off after Ghosh refused to give an appointment to the DVC officials, sources said.
DVC had refuted the state government’s allegations of irresponsible release of water. “The claim of the state government that it was not informed regarding the release of excess water is incorrect...,” Samir Maji, manager, reservoir operations of DVC, had said.
DVC sources said that they were looking for an opportunity today to present data on the actual amount of water released and also point out the problem of siltation in the Durgapur barrage, which reduced its water holding capability.
“We also wanted to inform the government that its representative in the DVC Reservoir Regulatory Committee was informed about the possible release of water on October 10 based on a weather forecast,” a DVC official said.
The points DVC wanted to make at the meeting were issued in a press release this evening.
Senior government officials confirmed that the meeting did not take place as Mamata did not want any explanation from the DVC.
“The chief minister firmly believes that the DVC did not inform the state before releasing excess water. She was upset as DVC authorities continued refuting her allegations…. So she instructed that no state government officer should meet the DVC team,” a senior state government official said.