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West Bengal estimates loss of Rs14,000 crore due to floods, situation improves

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-08-2017 PTI

Kolkata: The situation in the flood-ravaged districts of north West Bengal improved further as water receded from most of the submerged areas in the absence of major rainfall in the region, a senior official of the state disaster management department said on Wednesday.

There was no report of any death from the six deluge-hit districts. 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 Cooch Behar, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri, around 500 are operating wherein close to four lakh people are 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 more than Rs6,500 crore.

In the six northern districts, the state till now has faced a loss of around Rs3,812.4 crore while five south districts have suffered an estimated loss of Rs2,715.74 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 Rs14,000 crore because of the floods. An official 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 Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, the chief minister instructed the ministers that there must not be any discrimination during distribution of relief materials, a senior minister said. Leaders must not favour those who are close to them and all affected people must get relief materials equally, she told the ministers.

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