The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sunderbans flood

Calcutta, Aug. 31: At least a thousand villagers have been rendered homeless after vast stretches of the Sunderbans, including Sagar Island, Kakdwip and Basanti in South 24-Parganas, were flooded following incessant rain over the last few days.

Though officials claimed that the marooned people were been evacuated and provided with adequate relief and tarpaulins, people on the ground had a different tale. They said the displaced people were being forced to live in the open. When a group went to a local primary school for shelter, there was not enough room.

They complained that the embankments of the swollen rivers had not been adequately raised before the monsoon. Every year we have to face the ravages of floods because of the callousness of the government. The embankments are not repaired before monsoon. The government only supplies us with routine assurances but ultimately we get nothing. Till now, we have not received any help from the government, said Ratan Naskar, a local betel leaves seller who has shifted to Diamond Harbour.

Assistant engineer in the irrigation department Abhijit Banerjee said 500 metres of the embankment of the Hatania Doania and Moni rivers are in a bad shape.

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