MALDA, 8 SEPT: Malda district administration today submitted an estimate of loss by drought in the district amounting Rs 350 crores to the central team that came to Malda to inspect the drought situation and assess the loss incurred by it. The central team under the leadership of Central Director of Jute Corporation Dr S K Biswas reached Malda last night. Today there was an important meeting between the members of the central team and the district administration. The district magistrate of Malda Mr Pramal Kumar Samanta today said: “We submitted a statement to the team assuming a loss of Rs 350 crores by severe drought this year. Mr Samanta said that the report was made chiefly on the basis of loss faced in Habibpur, Bamangola, Gazole and Old Malda blocks all of which fall under the ‘barind’ region of Malda. “The team assured us to consider the issue seriously and sympathetically and told us they will provide us all possible support in overcoming the situation”, said the DM. He informed that the estimate was made comprehensively by district agriculture, fishery, animal resources, irrigation and agri-irrigation officials. Apart from these four blocks Kaliachak-II and III blocks were also affected by drought partially as learnt from the DM, Malda.
But surprisingly the Central team inspected only Kaliachak-III block today and not any of major flood hit blocks in the ‘barind’ region. In Habibpur, Bamangola and Gazole blocks the severity of drought is much higher. Even a few days back there was a report of a suicide by a farmer at Habibpur which was caused by incapability of refunding loans due to drought as alleged by the north Malda MP Mrs Mousam Noor. The DM, Malda Mr P K Samanta said that the team could not spare more than three hours and a half and therefore it was not possible to take them to the most drought affected regions of the district.
This may be mentioned that eight-member central team, headed by Joint Secretary in Union Agriculture Ministry E K Majhi, are visiting drought-hit districts of West Bengal. They called on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee yesterday and visiting eight districts in two groups. The first group is visiting West Midnapore, Birbhum, Bankura and Purulia districts, and the second team inspecting North 24-Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda districts.