Bengal: Landslides, rain affect rescue operations
Posted on: 11:58 AM IST Sep 19, 2011
Kolkata: Rescue operations in the quake-hit areas of north Bengal were affected on Monday after heavy rains and landslides in several parts of Darjeeling hills snapped road communication even as the death toll rose to five in the state.
"Reports reaching here said two deaths were reported from Kalimpong and one each from Siliguri and Jalpaiguri and one in the tea garden of Doors," state chief secretary Samar Ghosh told PTI.
State Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, on way to Siliguri, said that he would hold a high-level meeting there to step up rescue operations and arrange rehabilitation of the affected people in Darjeeling hills.
North Bengal Development Minister Goutam Deb was asked by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to coordinate with Chatterjee during his visit to the quake-hit areas.
Harka Bahadur Chetri, GJM MLA from Kalimpong, said power supply was restored in the area on Monday morning but the tremor has left a trail of devastation in the entire hills.
Several buildings were damaged and developed wide cracks, he said, adding that landslides occurred in many areas of Kalimpong and the road link to Siliguri and Sikkim was blocked.
The Chief Minister has been personally monitoring the situation and two control rooms were set up for giving information - one for Kolkata and another for north Bengal.
Meanwhile, the entire administration has been asked to be on the alert and be ready for any eventuality, sources said.