Mamata urges central government to revamp DVC dams

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

At least 16 people died while almost 20 lakh were affected in over 160 villages, which were inundated due to heavy rains and the water released by Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) in the state, a senior official said today.

Reiterating that she had been asking the Centre to carry out dredging in the reservoirs of DVC dams and barrages so that they could hold more water, Banerjee said that inundation was a problem which the state has been facing nearly every year. The capacity of these barrages has reduced due to sedimentation.

"We are releasing water as per the inter-state agreement and considering the safety of the dams", Water Resources Minister Chandra Prakash Chaudhary told IANS.

An official of the Water Resources Department said: "The Bengal part is irrigated and it also gets power generated from DVC".

Several villages and development blocks in Howrah, Hooghly, East Medinipur, Birbhum, East Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura and Murshidabad districts have been submerged.

Terming it a man made flood, Mamata said she spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the current situation and requested him to ensure DVC does not release any more water.

Banerjee went hammer and tongs at the Centre and the DVC for the inundation in the southern districts of the state. "Even today they [the DVC] have released more than 1 lakh cusecs of water", she said. As the DVC continued to release water ignoring the state request, large parts of south Bengal remained inundated with Bankura remaining cut off from the rest of the state.

She claimed that the central government should start the dredging at places like Farraka barrage and ports of Kolkata and Haldia to stop this flooding every year. As a result Bihar faces problems when the water there overflows. "If this was done, the state would not have suffered every year like this", she added.

"The water level at the Panchet Dam was 417 feet when the water was released".

"The DVC was created to protect Bengal from flood-like situations but now they are becoming a new headache for the state government". At present Tenughat dam has 854 feet water.

Refuting the Bengal government's allegation that DVC is not adhering to its proposal of not releasing the water from the dams for the next few days, the official said the decisions are taken by Damodar Valley Reservoir Regulation Committee (DVRRC) that has central government as well as the state government representatives. "The catchment areas falls in Jharkhand and benefit goes to Bengal". Water was also released from Tilpara barrage in Birbhum.

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