A CPI(M) MP today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a special economic package for West Bengal where the flood situation was “worsening” everyday. In a letter to the prime minister, Ritabrata Banerjee also asked him to deploy additional National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to ensure speedy relief work. “The flood situation in West Bengal is worsening with every passing day,” Banerjee said. He said areas in the state’s southern districts were still waterlogged, while the northern parts too were facing devastation from the continuing inundation.
Banerjee said the “suffering” of the flood-hit people was creating ground for “deterioration” of the law and order situation. He claimed there already had been instances of flood relief being looted. Banerjee claimed “thousands and thousands” of people in the districts of Cooch Behar, North and South Dinajpur and Malda had been rendered homeless due to the “devastating” calamity and their suffering was increasing every day. He claimed that one person was injured when police fired upon flood-affected people who were demanding relief. “I urge upon your good self to stand by the flood affected people of West Bengal by releasing a special economic package to the state to combat the floods,” he said.
Banerjee thanked Modi for deploying 17 NDRF teams in the flood-hit pockets. The teams are working mainly in North and South Dinajpur and Malda district. The Marxist leader said that relief work could be strengthened if more NDRF teams were sent to Bengal. “These NDRF teams are extremely essential because the specially trained personnel along with their equipment and boats are capable of providing relief at a very fast pace. More NDRF teams are essential at this juncture,” he said. Since July 21, 55 people have died in the floods. Nearly 55 lakh people have been hit in the districts of Cooch Behar, South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Malda. Around 75,202 houses have been destroyed and 2,15,762 damaged, officials said. According to the West Bengal Disaster Management Department, the overall situation in the flood-hit six districts of north West Bengal, however, had improved as no major rainfall was recorded for three days in a row in the region.