West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today demanded that the Centre immediately “reform” DVC, which released water from its differet barrages leading to the flood-like situation in the rain-battered state. “DVC barrages are quite old. They are not cleaned or dredged from time to time which has resulted in sedimentation … If dredging had been done then another two lakh cusec of water could have been stored there. “So whenever it is raining in Jharkhand, it is West Bengal which is suffering every year. So just like I do not want others to suffer, we should also not suffer. I think the Centre must carry out an immediate reform at the DVC,” Banerjee said at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport on her return from New Delhi.
The problem that West Bengal faces is that the water released by the DVC barrages every year when it rains heavily in Jharkhand create a flood-like situation in the state, she said. “Since 2012 we have raised the issue of water release by DVC. But no action has been taken. Even today it (DVC) has released an additional one lakh cusec of water. Because of that three districts — Howrah, Hooghly and West Midnapore (in West Bengal) are facing flood-like situation,” the chief minister said. “If dredging was done at Farakka then Bihar would not have faced any problem. No dredging is done in Ganga, Kolkata Port,” she added.
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Banerjee said that the Bengal government has been monitoring the situation in the districts round the clock. According to a senior official of the state Irrigation department, nearly 106 blocks in the southern part of West Bengal have been inundated and around 50 relief camps have been opened in Hooghly, Howrah, Bankura, Birbhum and North and South 24 Parganas districts. “We are alert all the time. Our officials including the district magistrates, block development officers and other senior officials are monitoring the situation throughout the day,” he added.