West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the flood situation in the state was caused by the Damodar Valley Corporation, which operates power stations in West Bengal and Jharkhand under the Union Power Ministry. At least eight people have died in the crisis so far, which Banerjee called “man-made”.
While the rain had slowed down on Tuesday, several areas faced further flooding after the DVC released more than 1.89 lakh cusecs of water from a number of its dams the next day, Hindustan Times reported. Banerjee had claimed that the corporation did not intimate her government before releasing the water, but the DVC claimed heavy rainfall in Jharkhand had forced them to do so.
“Every year farmers suffer crop losses because of the floods,” Banerjee said, according to ANI. “Houses are destroyed, cattle and animals have died. Property loss is massive. These are man-made floods.”
The Trinamool Congress chief said she had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom she has consistently been at odds, to ensure that the DVC does not release any more water. “We have been asking the DVC to release water in smaller quantities so that the adverse effects here are minimised,” she said.
Banerjee held an administrative meeting on Thursday, where she surveyed the flood-affected areas in the state, including Amta, Khanakul and Joypur, reported News18. “Even today they [the DVC] have released more than 1 lakh cusecs of water,” she said. “The low-lying areas of Labhpur in Birbhum district, Purulia, Ghatal in West Medinipur and Goghat, Arambagh in Hooghly districts have been inundated.”