Around 30,000 residents of South Dinajpur are in distress as rivers have flooded their villages and water is yet to recede, mostly in the Tapan block of the district.
The Punarbhaba river swelled and spilled over its banks earlier this week because of heavy rain, breaching the embankment and flooding around 34 villages.
“Although it didn’t rain in the past couple of days, the water is yet to recede from these villages. The road connectivity to these villages snapped because roads have been washed away in some places. In other locations, the roads are still under water. We have engaged speed boats to send relief to the affected people of these areas,” said a source in the administration.
Sources said villages located in Rampara-Chanchra, Ramchandrapur, and Ajpur panchayats of Tapan block are the most affected ones.
“The Punarbhaba has flooded 34 villages of these panchayats. Out of these, 26 villages are still flooded with water,” said a source.
Among these are villages like Naogaon, Lakkhipur, Chandrail, Ganahar, Bajrapukur, Fatakpara and Basuria.
Since Thursday, officials of the district and block administrations have been visiting the relief camps and monitoring the distribution of relief materials.
On Friday, Chintamani Biha, the sabhadhipati of South Dinajpur zilla parishad, visited some of the affected areas. Biha, along with some other members of the rural body, also cooked food in a flood shelter and served it to the affected villagers.
“During my visit, I have checked the quality of food which is being served to people. We have spoken with them and have noted their problems,” said Biha.
Along with Tapan, some residents of Bansihari, Kushmandi, and Gangarampur blocks are also staying in flood shelters as their areas are still flooded.
“We are running community kitchens and also providing dry food. A requisition has been sent to the state government to provide us more tarpaulins, bleaching powder, and some other items,” said an official.
A section of residents, however, alleged that the relief provided to them was inadequate.
“We are not getting food and other materials in a regular manner. There is no option to reach the block headquarters by road because of the flood. The administration should monitor the distribution of relief in a more intensive manner,” said Paritosh Das, a resident of Chakjamalpur, a village in Tapan block.
The BSF, sources said, has also provided a speed boat to the administration to send relief to these villages.
“As of now, 10 relief camps are running in Tapan block. Added to it, people have taken shelters in some other places,” said a source in the district administration.