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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lock-gate of Farakka bridge collapses

Malda, 16 March, 2015: Large number of residents of Baishnabnagar block, who live at the vicinity of the Ganga, have been gripped by an untimely-flood scare after a lock-gate of Farrakka bridge collapsed around 9 am today. Though the Farakka Barrage Project (FBP) authorities assured that there was nothing to worry, the concerned panchayats have cautioned the residents and farmers against probable inundation.

It has been learnt from FBP sources that 49th lock-gate which was nearly 40 years old suddenly collapsed failing to withstand the pressure of water. General manager of FBP Mr Soumitra Roy said that work had already been started to install a new lock-gate replacing the collapsed one.

FBP officials rushed to inspect the damaged lock-gate this morning. Notably, there are 109 lock-gates under Farakka bridge out of which 1st to 54th lock-gates are in Baisshnabnagar police station and the remaining lock-gates are in Farakka police station in Murshidabad district.

20 to 25 villages under three gram panchayats – Laxmipur, Binnagar and Krishnapur in Baishnabnagar police station are at the vicinity of the Ganga. As many as 15,000 residents of those villages particularly Biharitola, Pipratola, Asartola and Polartola are now panic-stricken apprehending sudden inundation after the lock-gate collapsed.

Expressing her concern the head of Laxmipur GP Maskura Bibi said, “Residents of villages adjacent to the Ganga have been warned against sudden inundation. Many of them cultivated crops in the fertile land on the bank of the Ganga. They were alerted as those crops may be severely damaged if the water in large quantity gets into those areas.”

Mandira Das, former head of Binnagar GP too said that measures were taken to warn the residents of villages like Lalutola, Bhimatola, Mukundatola and Sarkartola.

However, FBP authorities find no imminent risk with collapse of only one lock-gate. “Now, 35,000 cusec water flows per second along the Ganga in Farakka which is much less compared to flow of 25 lakh cusec water per second in rainy season,” said the FBP GM Mr Roy.

“Initiative was already taken to replace the lock-gate. But as it has now collapsed, new lock-gate is being installed on war footing,” he added.  

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