Erosion gets grim in Malda

Irrigation minister blames centre in Assembly
Report by: 
SOUMYA DE SARKAR
MALDA
10 Aug 2017

Erosion in Manikchak and Kaliachak-III blocks of the district has taken an alarming turn in last 24 hours. Irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee blamed the nonchalance of the Central government about the situation when Mottakin Alam, Congress MLA from Manikchak raised the issue during question hour in state assembly today. Meanwhile, irrigation officials said that measures were being taken on war-footing to combat the situation.
I am told Banerjee that the connector between the old and the new embankments at Bhutni islet in Manikchak was in a vulnerable condition. “If it perishes, nearly 1.5 lakh residents of the islet would be confined by water on all corners,” Alam said explaining the gravity of the situation.
Rajib Banerjee, MIC of irrigation department said, “State government approached the Central government numerous times to work together with the state government to combat erosion. But, unfortunately the Central government has been showing insouciance in this regard. Hence, the state government has sanctioned Rs 44 lakh initially from its fund for curbing erosion.”
However, expressing discontent with the progress of anti-erosion work at Bhutni islet, Alam said, “Jute bags filled with soil and sand are being dipped to prevent erosion. It would not help.”
Meanwhile, owing to erosion two houses were plunged into the Ganga at Par Anupnagar village of Pardeonapur-Sovapur gram panchayet in Kaliachak-III block. Two other houses are on the verge of getting swallowed by the river. The fear-stricken residents have started shifting household articles.
It has been learnt from district irrigation department sources that the water-level in the Ganga at Manikchakprevailed at 23.53 meter today. The water level in Mahananda in English Bazaar reaches 18.38 meter. Fulohar river at Tiljanna embankment in Ratua touched water level at 26.64 meter today. Water level in all three rivers is reportedly rising.
PK Samanta, the excutive engineer of district irrigation department said, “Erosion at 500 meter stretch of the Ganga at Pardeonapur-Sovapur gram panchayets turned severe in last 24 hours. We are constructing temporary embankments of 90 meter and 160 meter to save a primary school and a temple respectively.”