June 1, 2009

West Bengal to rebuild 400 km embankments in Sundarbans

KOLKATA, 30 May: The West Bengal government will rebuild 400 kms of embankments destroyed by Cyclone Aila in the mangrove forests of Sundarbans in an effort to save the region from any more floods in the coming monsoon. 

"We'll start constructing 400 kms of embankments in Sundarbans and will try to finish the work within the next one week," state Irrigation Minister Subhas Naskar said after surveying the cyclone-hit villages in the Sundarbans on Saturday. 

He said that nearly 350 km of embankments had been destroyed in South 24-Parganas due to cyclone Aila and another 50 km in the neighbouring North 24-Parganas district. 

"We'll at least try to temporarily develop the damaged embankments in Sundarbans to save the local population from a flood-like situation," Naskar said. 

Hundreds of villages in the two districts continued to be marooned, with saltwater intrusion destroying the paddy crop and rendering vast stretches of land fallow in the Sundarbans area in the aftermath of the cyclone. The officials have confirmed 117 deaths so far. 

The floods also washed away seeds, killed livestock and wiped out all stocks of freshwater fish and shrimp.

No comments: