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regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

Rising Ganga gobbles up at least 30 homes on its left bank in Malda district within 30 minutes

The district administration and the state irrigation department announced a red (secondary) alert along the banks of the Ganga and are keeping a close watch on the situation

Soumya De Sarkar Malda Published 07.08.21, 02:10 AM
People stand on the banks of the Ganga at Bhimagram in Baishnabnagar of Malda on Friday.

People stand on the banks of the Ganga at Bhimagram in Baishnabnagar of Malda on Friday. Soumya De Sarkar

The rising Ganga on Friday afternoon gobbled up at least 30 homes on its left bank at Baishnabnagar of Malda district within 30 minutes.

The district administration and the state irrigation department announced a red (secondary) alert along the banks of the Ganga and are keeping a close watch on the situation. Villagers have been asked to move to safer places.

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“The river suddenly started gobbling up large chunks of land in villages like Durgaramtola, Chinabazar, Bhimagram and Lalutola since afternoon. Within a span of 30 minutes, it swallowed 30 houses. Over 100 people became homeless and many others are moving to safer places as the river is moving fast and eroding land in a consistent manner,” said Rajiv Sheikh, a local Trinamul leader.

Sources in the area said the anti-erosion measures in the area taken up by Farakka Barrage Authority proved inadequate as the river is swollen during monsoon.

Irrigation minister Sabina Yeasmin who also hails from Malda said: “The administration is taking necessary initiatives to rescue people in case there is sudden flood. However, what is bothering us now is the acute erosion in Baishnabnagar. The irrigation department has been asked to take up immediate measures and also speak with the Farakka Barrage Authority,” she said.

Most people who lost their houses on Friday are migrant workers, jobless amid the pandemic, said Harun Al Rashid, a local panchayat member in Baishnabnagar. “The river now left them homeless too. Even my house got eroded away. We have urged the administration to see that the affected families get relief and rehabilitation,” he said.

The rising Ganga has also made the administration put fishermen on alert.“The river is flowing above danger level. That is why we are apprehending a sudden flood in some low lying areas on the banks. Our officers are on alert as water levels of Mahananda and Fulhar (two other rivers which flow through Malda district) are also increasing steadily,” said Pranab Kumar Samanta, an executive engineer of the state irrigation department.

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