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regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

Three rivers swell in Malda, flood alert issued

Administration swings into action, shifts some families to safer places

Soumya De Sarkar Malda Published 05.09.22, 02:58 AM
Malda DM Nitin Singhania (in white shirt) and SP Pradip Yadav (third from right) at village by the Ganga.

Malda DM Nitin Singhania (in white shirt) and SP Pradip Yadav (third from right) at village by the Ganga. Soumya De Sarkar

The rise in water levels of three rivers, the Ganga, the Kosi and the Fulhar, has led to flooding in a number of low-lying areas of Malda.

The administration has shifted some families to safer places and passed an alert so that residents stay safe.

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Sources in the state irrigation department said that in Manikchak of Malda, which is on the left bank of the Ganga, the water level is above the extreme danger level (EDL).

“According to data received at 6pm today (Sunday), Ganga is flowing around 0.11 metres above the EDL (25.3 metres). We have issued a red alert. Also, the Fulhar river is flowing 0.07 metres above the danger level and can touch EDL anytime,” said a source.

Biplab Kanti Roy, an executive engineer of the irrigation department in Malda, said they are keeping tabs on all rivers. “We are passing the information to the administration and other agencies regularly. People have been advised to stay away from the swollen rivers to avoid mishaps,” he said.

Five villages — Ramnagar, Jotpatta, Rabidaspara, Jalalpur and Domhat — which are located in unprotected areas of Manikchak block of Malda, are already flooded.

“Around 300 families from these villages have been shifted to safer places. Also, 50 more families have been shifted from Kalutontola of Manikchak. Relief materials have been distributed among them,” said an official of the district administration.

The Ganga has also flooded Hiranandapur and Dakshin Chandipur areas of Bhutni, the largest islet of Malda.

However, what is worrying the administration is the swelling Kosi, a tributary of Ganga that flows through Manikchak and Ratua-I blocks.

At Paschim Ratanpur, the Kosi river is hitting the embankment and damaging it. As water from the Ganga flows into the Kosi, the river is swelling fast and there is fear that the embankment may be breached anytime. If so, a number of villages will be flooded.

On Sunday, district magistrate Nitin Singhania and district police chief Pradip Kumar Yadav visited vulnerable areas of Paschim Ratanpur.

“Workers have been engaged to pile sand and build a ring-shaped embankment on a war footing. Teams of civil defence and disaster management are on standby for immediate rescue operations in case of a sudden flood,” said DM Singhania.

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