North Bengal rains: CM asks administration to monitor situation round-the-clock

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Kolkata, Jul 8 (PTI) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday expressed concern over potential floods in north Bengal due to heavy rains and instructed officials to continuously monitor the situation.

Banerjee asked officials to take steps to bring back stranded tourists from neighbouring Sikkim and in remote hills areas of Kalimpong and Darjeeling owing to landslides.

"Round-the-clock monitoring of the situation has to be ensured," Banerjee said, addressing a press conference on the flood-like situation in north Bengal owing to incessant rains in several places in the region.

The chief minister said nine flood shelters have been opened in Jalpaiguri providing shelter to 500 people. She asked the power department to take preventive steps to prevent electrocution during floods.

Banerjee said in Cooch Behar district, 12 community kitchens have been opened in Tufanganj and Mathabhanga.

Stating that the arterial NH-10 was being repaired at places where damages occurred owing to rains, the CM said the situation in Darjeeling and Kalimpong was normal.

She asked PWD authorities to inform the Army in case there is any damage to the national highways in the hills, as these are used by the forces for movement to border areas.

Banerjee said that during the monsoon season, the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) should inform the state before releasing water from its dams in south Bengal.

"Problems arise if huge quantity of water is released at one go," she said, maintaining that a staggered release of water from the dams will be helpful.

The CM asked the state's chief secretary to speak to Eastern, South Eastern, NFR and Metro Railway authorities to ensure cleaning of their areas to ensure there is no waterlogging during monsoon. PTI AMR -- MNB

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