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Flood situation improves in West Bengal, Rs 7,000 cr loss to agriculture sector


Kolkata, August 23: A senior official of the state disaster management department said the situation in the flood-ravaged districts of north West Bengal improved further as the water receded from most of the submerged areas in the absence of major rainfall in the region, there was no report of any death from the six deluge-hit districts.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inspects a flood-hit region in Malda district. PTI file photo

The flood toll has plateaued at 152, he said, adding that distribution of relief material, including cooked and dry food, pulses and medicines continued.

Out of nearly 800 relief camps opened in the six districts of Coochbehar, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri, around 500 are operating wherein close to four lakh people area putting up, he said.

In the worst-affected Malda district, many areas are still under water, but the situation is improving as markets reopened with the receding of water from the inundated areas. "We are monitoring the situation 24 hours. District magistrate, BDOs are on the job," the officer said.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the state agriculture department said nearly seven lakh hectare of farm land of both north and south Bengal has been affected by flood.

The estimated loss to the agriculture sector is over Rs 6,500 crore. In the six northern districts, the state till now has faced a loss of around Rs 3812.4 crore while five south districts has suffered an estimated loss of Rs 2,715.74 crore, he said.

South Bengal faced floods last month. The official said around 4.23 lakh hectare of agricultural land in southern districts and nearly 3 lakh hectare in northern ones were affected by floods.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that the state has incurred an estimated total loss of Rs 14,000 crore because of the floods.

A source said the chief secretary is preparing a report on the estimated loss in the state in floods to be sent to the central government.

During today's cabinet meeting, the chief minister instructed the ministers that there must not be any discrimination during the distribution of relief materials, a senior minister said.

Mamata told the ministers that all affected people must get relief materials equally and leaders must not favour those who are close to them.


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