The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Flood wreaks havoc in hills & plains
- Raging rivers run amok in Dooars

Sept. 7: Incessant rain since yesterday coupled with overflowing rivers and streams from the hills of Bhutan have led to inundation of large areas in Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts.

The army was deployed to rescue about 400 villagers in Falakata, Jalpaiguri district. The state highway from Falakata to Dhupguri is under 3ft of water.

The main road link between Siliguri and Jalpaiguri has also snapped.

“This morning, two landslides took place on NH 31 about 500 metres from my office,” said P.K. Das, the officer-in-charge of Sevoke police outpost. “We have contacted BRO officials, but they said nothing can be done unless the rain stops.”

In the Malbazar subdivision of the district, the Leesh breached NH 31 near Bagrakote and flooded about 80 homes in Washabari.

The river has also damaged a 300m stretch of the railway track near the Washabari tea garden, disrupting links between Siliguri and the Dooars.

The Inter-City Express, which travels from Siliguri Junction to Alipurduar, was cancelled today.

In Chamakdangi and Laltong villages, 15km from Siliguri and in Jalpaigur district, about 100 houses were waterlogged and more than 500 residents affected after the Teesta overflowed its banks last night.

“We have shifted at least 10 families to safer places,” said Jeevan Pradhan of Chamakdangi village.

The Mahananda has started eroding into the Samarnagar-Boubazar area of Darjeeling district since morning.

“We are scared that the river will enter our homes any time now. We have informed the executive engineer of the irrigation department’s Siliguri division,” said Sukumar Saha, secretary of the Samarnagar village development committee.

A few areas in Siliguri town also experienced inundation. Accumulated rain water flooded Siliguri Industrial Estate (SIE) off Sevoke Road’s 2nd Mile, entering factory premises.

“We have 80 sheds here and we fear that machinery and some stocks of finished products might get damaged,” said Sati Prasad Adhikary, the SIE general secretary.

However, Siliguri Municipal Corporation officials said they were not aware of any flooding.

“We have not received any report of waterlogging so far. We are taking necessary measures and will construct about 20 high drains in different wards soon after the monsoons,” said Mukul Sengupta, the mayor-in-council (conservancy).

At Hasimara, Jalpaiguri district, a red alert was put up after the Torsa’s water level rose. Rivers like the Goborjyoti, Pana and Mujnai have done a lot of damage in different tea gardens and villages in the Dooars.

Most of the Kalchini block is under water and over 20,000 people have been affected.

The overflowing Bhandarni, Basra and Kabli jhora have become one river now.

About 150m of the Mujnai’s embankment was damaged in Madarihat block of Jalpaiguri district and more than 100 families were shifted to a local primary school. “They have been taken to safer places and dry food has been distributed,” said Topden Lama, the block development officer of Madarihat.

In Alipurduar, most of the areas are waterlogged. The main problem of the town lies in the defective sluice gates through which river water has been entering for the past two days.

Rain Fury

Rainfall in the 24 hours prior to 8.30am on Friday
Darjeeling 180.1mm
Kalimpong 176.8mm
Sevoke 165.6mm
Cooch Behar 165mm
Siliguri 80.8mm
Gangtok 39mm
Jalpaiguri 31.6mm
Source: Jalpaiguri Met Office

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