Malda (WB), July 31: Around 100 houses were washed away today due to erosion in river Ganga near Farakka barrage while 31 villages were submerged in flood waters of Fullara river affecting 22,000 people in Malda district, officials said.
Additional District Magistrate (Land Reforms) Kanchan Chowdhury said 100 odd houses of Birnagar locality in Kaliachak III block were lost in the Ganga in a sudden erosion this morning.
The river breached a two km stretch of an embankment and took just an hour to destroy the area in which those houses were standing. However, there is no report of any casualty or injury and the affected people were given relief.
Around 1000 families of Sarkartola, Meinatola and Chinabazar villages are now in distress as the Ganga is almost at their doors, Chowdhury said.
BJP MLA Swadhin Kumar Sarkar has to shift elsewhere as his house is located only five metre away from where the edge of the Ganga now lies after the erosion at Birnagar.
Sarkar, who had demolished his house to retrieve building materials for re-use, said he turned ill after finding the river so close in the morning. The present condition is due to late starting of anti-erosion work in the area, he said.
North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh who visited the spot, however, claimed the Farakka Barrage authorities had locked gate no. 1 yesterday leading to this incident. He said he will inform the Centre about this through the state government.
Repair work of the damaged portion of the embankment has started on on war footing, Chowdhury said. Harishchandrapur II, Ratua I and Kaliachak I are other blocks hit by floods and erosion.
Three flood shelters have been opened and food items are being distributed to the affected people, Chowdhury said.