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West Bengal flood situation improves, toll climbs to 125

Mumbai: The overflowing Powai Lake in Mumbai on Wednesday following heavy downpour. PTI Photo (PTI7_16_2014_000166A)
Mumbai: The overflowing Powai Lake in Mumbai on Wednesday following heavy downpour. PTI Photo (PTI7_16_2014_000166A)

The flood situation in West Bengal is gradually improving, even as the death toll climbed to 125. Five more deaths were reported today taking the toll to 125, Disaster Management Department (DMD) officials said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was now in New Delhi, was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow and place her demands for adequate funds from the Centre for post-flood reconstruction work, where loss of property has been estimated by the state government at about Rs 30,000 crore.

Administration of all the 12 flood-hit districts have been asked to set up ‘Task Forces’ for relief and restoration works with constant monitoring by the District Magistrates. As flood waters receded, the affected people were found suffering from diarrhoea and snake bites. Some breached embankments of rivers were being repaired by the irrigation department engineers. “Altogether, 2,450 relief camps have been set up to shelter nearly 5.07 lakh marooned people and 824 medical camps opened,” DMD officials said, adding, the total number of affected people was over 1.06 crore.

As many as 7.43 lakh houses were damaged and crops over an area of 12,92,372 hectares has been badly hit. The affected areas included 236 blocks, 55 municipal bodies, four municipal corporations and 814 gram panchayats covering 21,885 villages. So far 22,716 cattle heads were also lost, they said.

Steps have been taken to protect the affected people from health hazards, while medicines and drinking water pouches were being distributed, the officials added.