Bengal flood toll rises to 85, Mamata calls all-party meet


By NewsGram Staff Writer

With the toll in the West Bengal floods rising to 85, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called an all-party meeting.

“The meet will be held on Saturday,” Banerjee, who is also the chairperson of the Trinamool Congress, told media persons.

Nearly 63 lakh people across 53 municipalities and 16,300 villages across 12 districts have been affected by the floods which have so far claimed 85 lives.

Disaster management department officials said that due to little rainfall in the districts, the flood situation has improved to some extent. The discharge of water from the barrages was also lower than the previous days.

While 83 lives were lost till Tuesday, there were reports of two more deaths on Wednesday.

The government has opened 2,546 relief camps sheltering more than 4.56 lakh people. A total of 667 medical camps are also under operation.

Over one lakh houses have been destroyed and 1.12 lakh suffered partial damage. There has been crop loss across an area of 8,20,435 hectares.

Meanwhile, Banerjee’s decision for the all-party meet comes days after she ridiculed the opposition which has been clamouring for such a meet, criticising the Banerjee regime for its inept handling of the calamity.

Though there were reports that Banerjee called Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra, he said he was yet to receive a formal letter regarding the meeting.

Earlier, Mishra and Congress legislative party leader Mohammed Sohrab had written to Banerjee asking her to convene an all-parry meet.

Banerjee has sought appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the flood scenario and would be heading for New Delhi on August 11.

Accusing the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) of inundating Bengal by releasing excessive water, Banerjee on Tuesday said she had called up union Power Minister Piyush Goyal putting forth her grievances over the matter.

The DVC has refuted the charges, asserting that the release of water from its system was not the reason for flooding in the downstream areas.