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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Mamata orders evacuation of 20,000 people from Sagar and Mousuni islands before high tides

The chief minister during the review meeting instructed the irrigation department to display the details of the work carried out to repair the damaged embankments

Pranesh Sarkar Calcutta Published 08.06.21, 01:50 AM
Mamata at the review meeting in Nabanna  on Monday.

Mamata at the review meeting in Nabanna on Monday. Telegraph picture

Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked South 24-Parganas district administration officials to make arrangements to evacuate 20,000 people from Sagar Island and Mousuni island ahead of high tides on June 11 and 26 as the embankments breached during Cyclone Yaas at those places would not be repaired before the end of the current month.

“There were breaches in river embankments at 317 places. Most of the breaches would be repaired by June 21, but a few breaches at Sagar Island and Mousuni Island would not be repaired before July 31. So, nearly 20,000 people would be required to be evacuated during the coming high tides,” the chief minister said during a review meeting with officials of different departments at Nabanna on Monday.

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Sources said the irrigation department had taken initiatives to repair damaged embankments almost immediately after Yaas had hit the state.

“But all breaches could not be repaired as agencies engaged for the work could not reach certain places with construction material because of stagnation of water,” said an official.

Water stagnation has become a serious problem in 63 gram panchayats spread across 14 blocks, mainly in South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas, since the cyclone.

Mamata pointed out during the meeting that those gram panchayats might face health-related issues and scarcity of drinking water.

“The health department should take care of the issue. The public health engineering (PHE) should distribute water pouches to ensure that people get safe drinking water. The PHE should try to install deep tube-wells at places which are not prone to frequent inundation,” she said.

The chief minister also instructed the irrigation department to display the details of the work carried out to repair the damaged embankments. “People will get to know what kind of work was carried out in their areas,” said the chief minister.

The sources said the move was considered to be significant as the chief minister was laying stress on repairing the embankments properly. Now, the agencies will face a kind of social audit, which is required in case of government projects, to minimise corruption.

The state government has received more than 1 lakh applications seeking compensation after Cyclone Yaas.

Bengal chief secretary H. K. Dwivedi said people in many areas could not reach out to the camps set up to receive applications. “We are planning some ways to collect applications from the affected people,” said the chief secretary.

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