Fresh erosion by the Ganga hit Narayanpur in Manikchak block of Malda on Sunday, endangering homes of around 50 families who live a little away from the river.
An almost 100-metre stretch of land was engulfed by the river in the past 24 hours, local residents said.
Villagers of Narayanpur said massive erosion started on Sunday early morning.
“Around eight to 10 cottahs of farmland have already been swallowed by the river. The river is fast approaching human habitations where there are around 50 houses. Everyone is fearful of losing their homes anytime now. Even the embankment at Narayanpur is not safe. If the embankment breaks, the river will flood a vast area,” said villager Samir Ali.
Jaris Ali, another resident, said villagers did not know where to take shelter if they lost their houses. Some have started to shift their moveable properties to homes of relatives, he said.
Worried residents informed the block administration and the state irrigation department about the erosion.
An official of the irrigation department inspected the area on Sunday.
A section of the villagers also articulated their frustration to say no one was concerned about erosion.
“Whenever erosion takes a deadly turn, they dip sand-filled bags to prevent erosion knowing well that it would not help. Abu Hashem Khan Choudhury, the Congress MP of Malda South, once tried to prevent embankment by putting boulders. It prevented erosion for a few years. But now, even the boulder bed is in a perilous state,” said Salam Sheikh, another villager.
A few days back, erosion gobbled up around 70 houses in Malda's Ratua-I block. Homeless residents are staying in shelters now.
Like them, Narayanpur residents demanded the Centre and state governments jointly take anti-erosion work.
“Why is the Centre silent? We suspect some politics in it,” said a resident.
Pinki Mandal, the new sabhapati of Trinamul-run Manikchak panchayat samiti, said she was in touch with administrative officials of the block and district over this fresh erosion at Narayanpur. “I am urging them to do something to prevent erosion and stand by the helpless families,” she said.