Hooghly: River and coastal flooding are the most frequently occurring natural disaster and are increasing in occurrence more rapidly than any other disaster. Urbanization and deforestation reduce the capability of the earth to hold excess water.
A master plan has been prepared by the Bengal Government’s Irrigation Department to carry out major work to ensure that flood-like situations become history for people residing in Hooghly district and its surrounding regions.
A major project of strengthening embankments and improvement of other necessary infrastructure in Hooghly to avoid flood-like situations during monsoon. The main tasks that will be carried out include strengthening of embankments, de-siltation of rivers and dredging of canals.
The flood problems of the state are of different nature at different regions. The rivers Teesta, Torsa, Jaldhaka, Raidak-I, Raidak-II etc. flowing through the districts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar originate in the neighbouring country of Bhutan and the state of Sikkim and flows down to Bangladesh, another neighbouring country to meet the Bramhaputra at different locations.
The Ganga-Padma river artery divides the state in two parts, north and south. Being a part of Ganga-Bhrammhaputra-Meghna basin, North Bengal is extremely flood prone.
The project will be carried out in two phases – in the first phase in Arambagh and Goghat and in the second phase in Khanakul and Pursura. While Rs 60 crore would be spend for the first phase, Rs 80 crore would be spent for the second.
It may be mentioned that two master plans have been prepared to check floods in north Bengal. One master plan is for Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Darjeeling district while the other one is for Malda, Uttar Dinajpur and Dakshin Dinajpur districts.
It is noted that due to heavy rainfall & water release from various dams by DVC led to widespread flooding in the districts of Paschim & Purba Medinipur, Howrah, Hooghly, Bardhaman and Bankura Causing 17 deaths, 8790 villages affected, and affecting 2.1 miillion people.