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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

Two girls drown in rising Ganga in Malda

Sources said 20 villages under Mahanandatola panchayat in Ratua-I block got inundated in the past 24 hours as the Fulhar river swelled

Soumya De Sarkar Malda Published 11.08.21, 12:46 AM
The rising Ganga gobbles up land at Shibpur village in Murshidabad on Tuesday.

The rising Ganga gobbles up land at Shibpur village in Murshidabad on Tuesday. Samim Aktar

Floods in Malda continued to worsen as all rivers swelled, the Ganga flowing almost near extreme danger level.

Two girls, Khushi Mahato, 10, and Faguni Mahato, 13, of Bhutni, Manikchak, drowned in the Ganga on Tuesday afternoon. Laili Bibi, 35, of Babupara in Malda town, drowned in the Mahananda on Monday.

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So far, over 1,000 families have been hit by floods in Malda. Sources said 20 villages under Mahanandatola panchayat in Ratua-I block got inundated in the past 24 hours as the Fulhar river swelled. Irrigation officials said around 6pm on Tuesday, the Fulhar was flowing at 27.12m, merely 0.31m below danger level. At the same time, the Ganga was flowing at 25.26m, 0.57m above danger level and only 0.04m below extreme danger level.

This has left residents of Bhutni, the largest islet of the district in Manikchak block and located on the Ganga, worried. “The irrigation department spent nearly Rs 1.20 crore to save villages of the islet by fortifying the embankment. But the water level is such that the embankment itself is under water at Koshi Ghat area,” said a resident.

The Ganga, inundating localities on its left bank in Malda, started eroding chunks of land on its right bank in neighbouring Murshidabad.

Since Monday evening, the river started gobbling up land in Shibpur village under Samserganj block of Murshidabad. “In past 24 hours, the Ganga has gulped five houses while 10 more houses are virtually hanging on the river. All the 15 families have been shifted to a local school,” said a source.

Last year, around 235 families from Shibpur and three neighbouring villages became homeless from erosion. “It was only on Monday that the block administration handed over secured land tenures to 140 such families and today, there are more erosion victims. This erosion, we believe, could have been checked if some protection work was done this past year,” said a resident.

Additional reporting by Alamgir Hossain in Murshidabad

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