The West Bengal government on Monday sounded flood alert in seven districts of the state. The government said there is a high possibility of a flood-like situation in all these seven districts of the state due to incessant rainfall in the upper catchment areas of the neighbouring Jharkhand. An urgent virtual meeting was held with senior officials of the districts of Paschim Bardhaman, Bankura, Birbhum, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Medinipur, Hooghly, and Howrah, where Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi was also present on Monday afternoon, reported news agency PTI. He directed all the officials from these regions to immediately take all forms of precautionary measures.
“During the meeting, the chief secretary directed all District Magistrates and SPs to immediately identify low-lying and flood-prone areas as well as start monitoring waterlogging and embankment breaches and take proper steps for their remedies,” an official statement said, as quoted by PTI.
The release also said, “The chief secretary informed the meeting that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted rainfall to continue till October 5 with heavy rainfall predicted tomorrow.“
The well-marked low-pressure area is currently hovering over Jharkhand and is likely to continue there for some more time. Additionally, this will continue to cause high precipitation and will result in high inflow into the dams.
The official release further stated that rainfall in Jharkhand was measured more than 50 mm in the upper catchment area on October 1. Meanwhile, Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi directed the district administration and police authorities to keep adequate stock of relief materials including flood-fighting materials like sandbags for embankment protection in low-lying vulnerable areas.
“The district administrations were also asked to inform Nabanna (state secretariat) if any area receives unusually higher rainfall, as the water release would need to take into account the precipitation in the lower reaches also,” the statement mentioned.
The meeting was convened on the instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and it was attended by officials of the Irrigation and Waterways and Disaster Management departments and ADG ( Law & Order). In the meeting, the Integrated Command Centres were also asked to be kept operational in all the vulnerable districts.