Kolkata: Flood situation in south Bengal turned grim on Saturday with 1.19 lakh people taking shelter in relief camps in 12 districts of the state even as weatherman forecast more heavy rains in the next two days.
"So far 966 relief camps have been set up sheltering 1.19 lakh affected people," West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told newspersons here.
"We have opened 124 medical camps," she said.
Speaking about the flood situation in the state after a review meeting, the chief minister said 12 districts in the Gangetic plains were affected, while the number of rain or flood related deaths did not increase and stood at 39 people as reported yesterday.
Banerjee then left for Udaynarayanpur in Howrah district, which has been badly affected, to see the flood situation for herself. She is expected to visit more flood-affected areas soon, officials said. They said that so far 1.8 lakh houses have been damaged and crop was lost in over 2.10 lakh hectares due to the floods.
State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim went to Arambagh in Hooghly district during the day and oversaw relief arrangements for the affected people. Other ministers have also been asked to visit flood-affected areas to coordinate relief operations.
Banerjee said her government would try to support the flood-affected people with its own resources as she was not hopeful about much help from the Centre.
"Did the Centre send any help for Darjeeling disaster (landslides last month)?" an annoyed Banerjee shot back when reporters asked her whether Centre's assistance was sought.
Flooding of farmland, towns and villages were reported from several districts of South Bengal like Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore with heavy downpour occurring in Gangetic West Bengal in the last few days.
Heavy rainfall also lashed Kolkata and adjoining areas since last evening and disrupted normal life, throwing road and rail traffic out of gear since early this morning as most parts of the city were submerged.
The MeT department recorded 143.2 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours till 5.30 pm today and has forecast heavy to very heavy rains in Gangetic West Bengal for another two days....