Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee lashed out at DVC authorities on Tuesday after her meeting in North Dinajpur’s Chopra, as several parts of south Bengal were flooded following release of water by DVC. Terming it a “man-made flood”, Banerjee said the Bengal government would take legal action against DVC for releasing water without prior intimation.
“For flood situation due to heavy rainfall, no one can be blamed. But the flood is man-made if it’s triggered by release of excess water from dams. If the DVC and Central Water Commission (CWC) release water without the state’s knowledge, we will take legal action,” Mamata said after the administrative meeting.
On Monday, chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee had held a meeting at Nabanna where DVC’s chief engineer (civil), S K Sinha, and superintending engineer of Maithon project , S K Maji, were present. DVC had also assured release of minimum water. A senior DVC official said they released 36,000 cusec water from Panchet on Tuesday compared to 40,000 cusec released on on Monday. The official also said that they informed the Bengal government about the release of water. “All details of release are also displayed on DVC’s website,” he added.
The DVC official said: “At Maithan dam, the danger level is at 495 ft from the sea level. Already, the water level is at 483 feet, so we had no other alternative. Similarly at Panchet, the danger level is 425 feet and the present water level is 422 feet.” He added that dredging is not technically feasible at the dams and for that the Centre did not give the nod for it.
Mamata said that DVC, under the instruction of the CWC released water on their own without consulting the Bengal government leading to a flood situation at Udaynaraianpur of Howrah and Khanakul in Hooghly. “If this continues then we will have to rethink about the state-Centre relationship,” she said and added that the DVC had not released any water when Purulia and Bankura districts had faced droughts.
Mamata also stated that there was a design to shift the Tea Board from Kolkata. “It is planned for political gain and for that I have asked the Trinamool MPs to raise the issue in the Parliament.”
Union power minister Piyush Goyal during his visit to Bengal on Monday had brushed aside all allegations of Mamata regarding the DVC keeping the state in dark before releasing water and maintained that it was done under the instructions of the CWC which has representatives of the state as well. He also said that decision to release water was taken looking at the dam’s capacity and safety.