Balurghat, 16 July
The rain-affected villagers of three blocks ~ Gangarampur, Kushmandi and Bangshihari ~ of South Dinajpur district have been annoyed over insufficient relief materials. They complained to the administrative officials who visited the flood-affected areas.
The District Magistrate, Mr D D Goswami, has assured that adequate relief materials would be distributed through the Block Development Officers of the concerned blocks, shortly. Locals said the BDOs were absent when they were waiting for relief materials after heavy rains wreaked damage. Balarampur, Haldarpara and Dashpara in the Kushmandi block were affected as the water level of the river Tangan kept rising following heavy rains. Over 5,000 people of the villages of Sukdevpur-I and Nowdapara, Pathanpara, Mallickpur and Hamjapur in the Gangarampur block have became homeless as the river Punarbhaba was in spate.
Due to the absence of the adequate relief centres, the victims were forced to take temporary shelters at the primary and high schools, madhyamik siksha kendras and sishu siksha kendras. It is also reported that most of the rain-affected people have not received tarpaulin sheets or edibles from the administration. However, the administration claimed that they have sent tarpaulin sheets, dry food and other necessary things.
Mr Goswami said that sufficient tarpaulin sheets had been distributed among the rain-hit villagers. “Several relief camps have been opened and dry food is being distributed among them,” he informed. However, he admitted in the same breath that the number of tarpaulins that have been sent might not be adequate in proportion to the demand.