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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Flood situation deteriorates in Malda as two of three major rivers flow over danger levels

The Bhutni island on the Ganga was inundated and most areas in all three panchayats were under water

Soumya De Sarkar Malda Published 16.08.21, 12:30 AM
An inundated village in the Manikchak block of Malda district on Sunday.

An inundated village in the Manikchak block of Malda district on Sunday. Soumya De Sarkar

The flood situation in Malda deteriorated in the past 24 hours as two of the three major rivers in the district were flowing over danger levels.

As the Ganga, Mahananda and the Fulhar swelled up because of rains, fresh areas were inundated. There are apprehensions that major areas of Malda will get flooded in the next few days like it had happened in 2019.

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The Bhutni island on the Ganga was inundated and most areas in all three panchayats were under water.

In the South Chandipur panchayat on the island, eight of 12 villages are submerged. Similar flooding has been reported from North Chandipur and Hiranandapur, the other two panchayats.

Altogether, around one lakh people live in Bhutni and almost 30 per cent of them moved to safer places. Villages in Gopalpur and Manikchak panchayats of Manikchak block also face inundation.

Sources in the state irrigation department said the Ganga was flowing at 25.71 metres, which was 0.41 metres higher than the extreme danger level.

“In 2019, the water level of the Ganga had touched the 26 metre mark which had left vast areas of Manikchak flooded. We fear we have to face a similar situation again,” said Imran Sheikh, a Trinamul Congress leader in the block.

Along with Manikchak block, the river spilled over its banks and inundated villages in the Parlalpur panchayat of Kaliachak 3 block also.

The Fulhar, another major river in the district, was flowing at 27.85 metres, which was 0.42 metres above the danger level, on Sunday evening.

The river has inundated vast areas of Bilaimari and Mahanandatola panchayats in Ratua 1 block.

“If the Fulhar also keeps rising, it would flood different villages of Harischandrapur 1 and 2 blocks,” said a source in the irrigation department.

The Mahananda, on the other hand, was flowing at 19.95 metres, only 1.05 metres below the danger level.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed and hope the water levels of all these three rivers will recede in a couple of days. However, we are keeping a close watch on the situation as further

downpour in upper catchment areas of these rivers can lead to an increase in water levels,” said Pranab Samanta, an executive engineer of the state irrigation department posted in Malda.
The situation has also put the administration on alert.

“We have information that newer areas have been flooded. Officials at block levels are working in consonance with different agencies and rural bodies and extending all necessary help to the affected people. At the district and subdivisional levels, round-the-clock monitoring of the situation has been initiated,” said Rajarshi Mitra, the district magistrate of Malda.

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