Kolkata: Amid fresh threats of rain in North Bengal and Gangetic West Bengal later this week, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited flood-hit Ghatal in West Midnapore district on Tuesday, blamed the Centre for the flood situation there, alleging that the flood is a result of the Centre’s dilly-dallying over the Ghatal Master Plan project.
The Ghatal subdivision is one of the flood prone areas of West Bengal. Therefore, the Ghatal block is very vulnerable to flood hazards. Critical drainage pattern of river Silabati and monsoonal climatic fluctuations are the main reasons for floods in the Ghatal block, which cause huge damage every year.
To control the flood situation, the state government had proposed the Ghatal Master Plan in August, 2009. The state government had submitted the proposal to the Ganga Flood Control Commission (GFCC) for flood protection measures, including de-silting of the rivers in the Ghatal area of West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs 1,550 crore.
Considering the size of the project and for sustainability of the proposed measures, the GFCC had advised the state government to get mathematical and physical model studies undertaken for the project.
The state government got the mathematical model studies undertaken by IIT Kharagpur and submitted the revised project report in August, 2013 to the GFCC with an estimated cost of Rs 1,577.28 crore.
The GFCC has undertaken specialised analysis of the revised detailed project Report (DPR).
“This is a man-made flood. The Centre is not paying heed to our requests for the Ghatal Master Plan. Repeated requests are falling into deaf ears. I have conducted a survey of the area. I will prepare a report on this,” the Chief Minister said, while standing on a water-logged lane in Ghatal on Tuesday.
Later, actor and Trinamool MP from Ghatal, Deb, said, “Our Chief Minister has asked us to form a team and go to the irrigation minister and submit a memorandum regarding this. We will do this very soon and continue to pursue tyhe matter so that the project is sanctioned.
“The Central government spends crores of rupees after the floods. If the same money is allotted before the floods, there will be no flood at all.”
Earlier, Banerjee conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas while returning from Jhargram. Her helicopter landed at Moyrapukur from where she went to meet the people affected by the floods.
The administrative meeting, which was scheduled to be held at an auditorium in the area, was cancelled because it was inundated in floodwater, officials said.
At least seven districts in West Bengal have been flooded, killing 23 persons since last last week.